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■■-■— * * 



Strategical Sketch. 

By Lieut-Col. SISSON C. PRATT, late kjl Sketch** 
ind Mjps. 51. net. 

" This; is the first issue of a Special Campaign Strut planned 
by the publishers, which soldiers, especially junior officers, 
should find of very great value. The idea is to describe, from 
a purely technical point of view, the famous campaigns oi the 
19th centnry. and though it is probable that the editor will try 
to confine comment mainly to the strategy of the wars dealt 
with, readers may count upon the various writers affording 
tseful tactical bints based on their reading of the material dealt 
with." — Glasgow Herald. 

lupplied »ilh 

" Tbi« strategical sketch is the first volume of a Special Cam- 
paign Series which promise? to be of great value as a military 
clia book, and to the military student. Such a volume makes 
(tody a pleasure, and we hope that it will have a long list of 
■iiccessors." — Notts. Guardian 

" A volume (the first) in the Special Campaign Series, sketch- 
ing the strategy of the German invasion of France in 1870. 
Others are to deal with the Iiusso-Turkish war, and if they 
maintain the present high quality, tbe series (or a volume of it 
certainly) ought to find a place, with the proverbial baton, in 

y soldier's knapsack. The maps and sketches are clear, full, 

excellent." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

" The series will certainly make a unique place for itself on 
" shelves, if all the volumes display the brilliant qualities of 
initial volume." — Birmingham Post. 

" CcL Pratt is first in the field with a volume on the war 
which has been selected as the Special Campaign to be read up 
by officers preparing for the Competitive Examinations for 
Commissions in the Army to be held in September. 190;, and 
lUrch. 1906. It is fortunate for those who have to prepare to 

e the euminrr that Col. Pratt has 

to tbe compilation of volumes on Military History. 
that the Series will not only be useful for examination purposes, 
a tbe nucleus of an interesting library for the military 

-■■,-,. i-,r.: ■ 

-United Service Gazette, 

" The hook will be of especial interest to military men at the 

Chen another war is showing every day how steadily 

— Manchestm 

" So long a time has elapsed since a military history serif* 
has been offered to British soldiers, that Messrs. Sonnenschein 
may claim the credit of bringing to fruition a virtually new idea. 
With the limitations common to all or almost all British military 
writers, the book before us is of great merit. We should select 
tor particular notice the vigorous and even dramatic account 
of the Sedan Campaign. The book is well illustrated by a good 
general map and numerous sketch maps." — Broad Arrow 

" It gives a succinct account of the campaign, taking each 
episode in turn, and criticising the strategy of either side. Num- 
erous diagrams and maps help to elucidate the text of a little 
book, which will be of obvious use to the student of military 
tactics, hut may be stronglv recommended to a wider circle of 
readera." — Yorkshihb Post. 

" An excellent sketch of what remains the roost instructive 
of modern wars, accompanied by admirable maps upon which 
the student can follow the tactical as well as the strategical opera- 
tions of the campaign. Altogether this is a very valuable book." 
— United Sbrvicb Magazine. 

" Lt.-Col. Pratt, in his strategical sketch, presents a com- 
pendium of the drama of the Franco- Prussian war. from the open- 
ing scene on the banks ol the Saar, to the fall of the curtain upon 
beleagured Paris. The story, charged as it is with lessons 
for the soldier and statesman, is no less instructive to the general 
reader, in whose mind a careful study of the respective con- 
ditions of the opposing forces will leave but little doubt that 
victory was assured to the Germans before a shot had been 
fired. . . . The student of military history need search no 
further than the little volume under review in order to discover 
the chief causes that led to the swift and complete collapse of ■ 
Power esteemed by Europe so formidable a lighter that at the 
commencement of the war the great majority of maps intended 
to illustrate the campaign were prujected eastward of the Rhine 
The author's account of the German scheme of mobilization is 
very interesting and suHRestive. So thorough is the organ isation 
that every reservist in t'nc land knows the position assigned to 
him at the call to arms." — Madras Mail. 

" The intention underlying this Series is excellent, to bring 
the main outlines of the campaign within the purview of many 
officers who have neither the time nor the opportunity to study 
for themselves a more detailed account. Special mention must 
be made of the ten excellent sketches and maps included in the 
volume. We would add that the form of treatment in this 
excellent Series should bring these books into the hands of 
good many others besides those with whom war it a business." 
DARliniTON Times. 

A Strategical Sketch. 

By MAJOR F. MAURICE (The Sherwood Por- 
ter*). With 3 Maps. Crown 8vo. 58. net. 

" No strident who can find time to give Major Maurice's work 
s doe attention should neglect a single page of the narrative. 
*~e story is told so succinctly that the imagination is brought 
play throughout, and y^t no single detail necessary for the 
tit direction of the student's imagination is omitted. The 
jnd, sober common -sense he displays throughout in dealing 
rith tactical problems merits the highest commendations in 
in which all sense of comparative hi'torical treatment 
•> have vanished and given place to modern theories. 
maps provided are exceptionally good and obviously 
d with the greatest possible care." — Broad Arrow. 

■ ■■ ■. second volume of a very useful Special Campaign 
titt, and will prove of great value to officers of all ranks, 
npeciatly to those who have leanings towards the study of 
jilary history, a very necessary disposition in these days, when 
« officer has to look to proficiency in his profession as the only 
'sole means (or obtaining advancement. The moment appears 
pitious for the publication of an account in English, and 
! have carried Oot this work in a more capable 
r than Major Maurice has done. The book is well got 
1. well bound in a neat cover, and has several maps to assist 
= jtuiieiit." — United Service Gazette. 

npratentioni little liook— a companion to Ssarbruck 
■ ■ fans. 1870 — deals merely with the strategy and major tactics 
il the decisive part of the campaign in Europe. There is at the 
nd a large scale map of the theatre of war in Bulgaria, based 
n the Austrian survey in 1SS1 of the Balkan States." — ACADEMY. 

" Written with well-considered conciseness and usefully 
.nipped with illustrative maps, few hooks, if any. could be 
«nd better fitted for military students and junior officers 
-axons of a knowledge of the lessons which the campaign has 
r a soldier." — Scotsman. 

" This volume maintains the credit of the series admirably. 
tajor Maurice does not pretend to give a complete history of 
tjf war, but in fact, except that the final phase of the campaign 
after the fall of Plevna is very rapidly summarized, the war is 
very fully and minutely described indeed, considering the limit 
set by the style of toe volume. The student is indebted to 

Major Maurice for the perfection with which the text is related 
to the first-class pocket maps, which are on more adequate 
scales." — Glasgow Herald. 

" There is little English literature dealing with this campaign, 
and a comprehensive strategical sketch such as Major Maurice 
gives in the present work was badly needed by the military 
student. It is a comprehensive and methodical survey of the 
whole campaign, and he has not failed to underline the points 
of principal application to English students." — Manchester 

" Of very great value as a military class book. There is no 
other way of aquiring the art of war than lay studying the 
great campaigns of the past, and such a book as this renders 
the task much simpler and the subject much more intelligible 
to junior officers." — Nottingham Guardian. 

"Asa strategical sketch of a great war here is an excellent 
example. The main outlines of the campaign are described, 
together with the crucial episodes, but the chief aim is to advance 
what has been termed the science of war. A number of maps 
and diagrams serve to illustrate the text and enhance consider- 
ably the value of the book as a means of military instruction." 
—Leeds Mercury. 


Major Maurice makes the Russo-Turkish campaign deeply 
interesting, and brings the lessons of Plevna home to islanders 
to whom that struggle means much. The maps and plans are 
extremely clear and are not overburdened with detail."— West 
Sussex Gazette. 



A Study 

With Maps and Plans. 

" The story is very effectively told by Major Redway. a 
listinguished member ol that increasing band of British officers 
o satisfactorily disprove the once general impression, that 
i oi high intellectual abilities and abundant professional 
" not too rarely to be found in our army. The 
student of military history will be well rewarded by following 
this succinct narrative assimilating the tactical lessons of the 
great battle. He will see that the final success was the prize 
of the most capable general. He was an undoubted master of 
war. and his opponent Buraside decidedly his inferior in military 
capacity." — Pall Mall Gazette. 

" Major Redway's narrative is full of instruction for every 
thoughtful and even for every well-read soMier. His criticisms 
are lair, temperate and made with an appreciation of the real 
nature of war which we look for in vain in most of our historians 
of war." — Broad Arrow. 

" This is the third volume of the ' Special Campaign ' series of 
books which are now being published by the above named enter- 
prising firm, and in full maintains the standard of excellence 
established by its predecessors. In a pocket at the end of the 
book are four excellent maps of the Eastern Theatre of War and 
of Fredericksburg and its neighbourhood, all particularly 
dear, and none of them, as is often the case, overladen with 
detail." — United Service Magazine. 

' It is no faint praise to say that its merits as a literary study 
of war rival those of its predecessors." — Army and Navy 


" Rich in interest for soldiers who wish to understand how a 
powerful enemy may be beaten by raising the price of success, 
and wearing out rather than overthrowing his forces. Well 
baaed historical studies concisely written, and finished with a 
good equipment of instructive special maps, the work forms a 
valuable accession to the scenes in which it appears." — Scotsman. 

" Major Redway has made a very valuable addition to the 
.*eial Campaign Series, and also a more than useful contribution 
o the history of the American Civil War. For he has evidently 
!, pains and indubitable skill to the study of the mass 
J available to the student, and han produced a story 
If -contain etl. careful, vivid, as well as specialty adapted by its. 

method for the military student. All the important movements 
and dispositions of the troops on either side are lucidly detailed, 
and can be followed on the maps, of which there are five as admir- 
able specimens of cartography as one would expect in a much 
more ambitious military work." — Glasgow Herald. 

" The present volume presents a striking contrast to the story 
of a European campaign, From Saarbr&ck to Paris, with which 
the series commenced, and Major Redway has done his work 
admirably. His chapter on the ' American soldier — his social 
status and professional ability ' is one of the best studies on the 
subject that ever came under our notice."— Guardian. 

" The very fact that in the American War the South was so over- 
matched in wealth and resources makes all the more interesting 
a close study of their tactics and their strategy, influenced as 
these on both sides were by political as well as military considera- 
tions. The ' Campaign Series ' ought to be found in every 
military library." — Yorkshire Post. 

" The book offers an instructive contrast in methods adopted 
by an unskilful general on one side and by a great master oi war 
on the other." — Manchester Guardian. 

" While dealing mainly with the technical details of the cam- 
paign, the author's narrative is so lucid and so skilfully told 
that it may be followed with enjoyment and ease by the tyro, as 
well as the expert in military matters." — Dundee Advertiser, 


COL. H. C. WYLLY, C.B. (late Sherwood 
Foresters). With Maps and Plans. Crown 8vo. 5/. net. 

I cud Campaign series form an interesting addition to 

tore of war. From the popular and historical side 

few campaigns have escaped exhaustive treatment, but there 

is still room for guidance as to Hie tactical and strategical 

It are plentifully available. The Special Campaign 

s will here prove of value. The book is the first serious 

«udy of the war in Northern Italy which has appeared in the 

English language," — Scotsman. 

I My's careful study of this short, and, on the side of 
the French, skilfully conducted war will be fresh ground to 
most of his readers. Officers and military students will find 
Cut Wvllv's book a useful addition to tlieir working library." — 
Manchester Giahdijiv. 

" Col. Wylly has had the advantage of nil the official accounts 

hi Eun-jpi- mi the li:mi!li[i^ or tin- i-usilcuiSmj 

armies. And, with his own ripe experience to guide him. h. 

has produced a book of considerable practical value." — York 

shire Post. 



This 15 the fourth volume oi the Special Campaign series— 

led to supply military men, and more particularly 

or officers, with technical and critical descriptions of the 

ous campaigns of the nineteenth century. That which Col. 

Wylly has made the subject of his study possesses several 

i special interest." — Glasgow Herald. 

We have before spoken of the practical value to military 
tnd junior officers of the Special Campaign series 
■ hicli draw the professional lessons of a scries of operations so 
clearly and simply that the merest tyro can profit by them. 
None o* them have been more interesting and instructive than 
No 4. Nothing could be better than the unbiassed and straight- 
forward way in which Col. Wylly details the plain facts of 
what was done, both in the movement oi troops and in handling 
them in contact with the enemy." — Notts Guardian. 

" This makes the fourth volume in 

I it has already done so much 

military history and to aid officers 10 

iliat subject that are no 

■ in the profession of arm: 


the Special Campaign 

further the study of 
prepare for the many 

1 required for a success - 
" — Army and Naw 




Price 5*. net each, 

Franco-German War. By Col. 
S issoN C. Pratt, late R. A. 

1 877. By Major F. Maurice. 


WAR, 1862. By Major G. W. 
Rio way. 


and SOLFERINO, 1859. By Col. 
H. C Wylly, CB. 

By Col. Simon C. Pratt, late R.A. 

1866. By Lt.-Col. G. J. R. 










Although the war which is the subject of this volume 
had the most far-reaching consequences in the re-estab- 
tishment of the German empire and the altered equili- 
brium of the European powers, it seems never to have 
attracted great attention in England ; indeed, the author 
has been surprised to find, in military circles as well as 
in general society, how little the history of this war is 
known. And yet within a few years after its conclu- 
sion many books and pamphlets were written in Austria, 
Prussia and France, sharply criticising or eagerly de- 
fending the strategy and tactics of that memorable 
four weeks' campaign. 

The narrative is based on the histories of the war 
written by the Prussian aud the Austrian general staffs, 
and the plans of the battlefields are reproductions of 
those drawn by Prussian officers detailed for their survey 
daring the time of the armistice aud the simultaneous 
occupation of Bohemia that preceded the conclusion of 
peace. A map of Germany showing her subdivisions 
before the war has been added. This will appeal to 
students more readily and more effectively than an 
ordinary chapter on the geography of the country 


The author hopes that this historical essay will be 
found capable of interesting as well as instructing those 
whom he has had the privilege of reckoning among 
his pupils, and that it will also be found useful by those 
students of military history who have so far looked in 
vain for an account at once accurate and concise of the 
events of this particular campaign. 

Mostyn Hall, 
May, 1907. 


Der Feldzug von 1866 in Deutschland. Redigirt von der Kriegs- 
geechichtlichen Abterlung dee Groesen Qeneralstabe. 

Osterreichs Kdmpfe im Jahre 1866. Nach Feldacten bearbeitet 
duroh das K.K. Generalstabs-Bureau fur Kriegsgeschichte. 



I The Causes of the War .... 1 

II The Opposing Powers 17 

HI Mobilisation and Initial Movements . . 35 

IV Comments on the Prussian Plan of Campaign . 57 

V Invasion of Bohemia 75 

VI Events on June 28 and 29 . .99 

VII Austrian Retreat 125 

VIII The Battle of Koniggratz .149 

IX The Retreat and Pursuit .... 173 

X The End — The Combat of Blumenau . . 199 

Appendix I 209 

II 211 

III 217 


IV 218 






I. Sketch of the Projected March of the 2nd 

Prussian Army 70 

II. Sketch of the Positions of the Units of the 
1st Prussian Army on the 24th and 25th 
of June . • . 78 

III. Sketch of the Positions of the Opposite Forces 

on the Evening of the 26th of June . . 84 

-, < IV. Map of Germany in 1866 . n . . . \ 

V. Map of Theatre of Operations n . 

-, <4- VI. Plan of Podol-Munchengratz . « . 

a I VQ. Plan of Trantenau and Soor . « 

^ VULL Plan of Nachod, Skautz and Schweinschadbl. 

< ^ IX. Plan of Podkost . 4 . . . ~ 

"*■ * X. Plan of Gitschin . . 4 . . / i 

•" <* XL Plan of Koniginhof . . * . 

4 y XII. Position of Forces on the Evening of the 2nd 

of July . . « . 

Xm. Plan of Koniggbatz . y 

v vv XIV. Plan of Blumbnau . . + 






The Causes of the War 

Yon any student of Military History who is not 
satisfied with merely following the events of the great war 
of 1800 and learning the lessons conveyed by the first 
battles fought under new conditions of fire tactics, but 
who also wishes to glean and understand the interesting 
circumstances which brought about that momentous 
struggle, it is necessary to submit with patience to the 
perusal of a concise narrative of the political events 
which took place in the Germanic body after 1848. 

In that year, ever memorable on account of the wave of 
revolution which swept through Europe and made even 
the lime-honoured throne of the Hapsburgs shake in 
its very foundations, the fervent wishes of thousands 
•A enlightened German patriots were raised in hopeful 
expectation of a better and worthier political existence 
than that afforded by the rotten conditions of the old 
" Bund," which after the wars against Napoleon had 
been patched up again in its obsolete and anti-national 
form by princes who disregarded, when smiled on by 
victory, the promises of constitutional institutions 
which they had proffered to their subjects in the hour 
of deep distress and slavish misery under the foreign 


hat the 

l-hn first 

May. 1849 

yoke. The clamour of the whole nation for a politi 

renovation rang out bo loud and unmistakable that 
governments were obliged to allow the election of the first 

National Assembly which met at Frankfurt- 

ay ' ' A on-the-Main, and was composed of delegates 

from all states and provinces of Germany. This assembly 

was much divided between monarchical and republican 

principles, but after long labours it produced 
■ completed proposal of a German con- 
stitution based on the following institutions. There was 
to be a "Reichstag" consisting of two bodies- (1) a 
" Staatcnhaus," composed of members nominated in 
equal numbers by the governments and by the people's 
representatives of the various stares ; (2) a " Volkshaus," 
composed of deputies elected by the whole nation : a 
monarchical imperial power was to be invested with the 
prerogative of a merely suspensive veto. 

During the debates on these subjects two parties 
gradually formed themselves ; the Great- Germanics 
(Pan-Germans), who wanted to retain in the German 
empire the German provinces of Austria, and the Little- 
Germanics, who wanted to exclude Austria from the Dei 
empire, and wished for a closer amalgamation imdi 
the hegemony of Prussia, which, in 1813, had certain!; 
led the van in the great national rising against Na] 
Icon's dictatorship and had made the greatest sacrifii 
in the battles which drove the foreign legions from 
German soil. 

In April 1849 a deputation of 

National Assembly offered to King Frederick 
William IV. of Prussia the dignity of Emperor of the 
Germans, but he refused it on the ground that he could 

April, 1849 



only accept the imperial dignity with the consent of all 
the German governments, and at the personal request 
of all the princes of the Bund. A number of deputies 
were recalled by their governments after this demon- 
stration and the passing of the draft of the new German 
constitution, or seceded voluntarily from the Frankfurt 
National Assembly, and a so-called Rump Parliament, 
formed at Darmstadt by democratic, members only, was 

In February 1850 the King of Prussia 

iBso 7 ' a1 "' tnP iwo P rua8 ' an houses of deputies took 

the oath on a revised constitution, and the 

Prussian government now endeavoured to create a new 

German confederation with the exclusion of Austria : this 

object was actively supported by a party in favour of a 

hereditary imperial throne. A so-called "Three Kings' 

League "' was formed between Prussia, Hanover and 

Saxony, and was at once joined by the princes of most of 

the small German states ; but it was soon practically 

dissolved againbythe secession of Hanover and Saxony, 

who feared the grasping ini]>erious supremacy of Prussia. 

a parliament was opened at Erfurt, and 

witlun a month completed the task of 

producing the constitution for a new German 


Austria had in the meantime been endangered in her 
very existence by the rebellions in Vienna and Prague, 
and still more so (chiefly) by the nearly successful 
•traggle of the Hungarians for national independence, 
and by the rising of her North Italian provinces ; but 
when her government had at length been relieved from 
its flsjHgjMliniii position— mainly by the armed assist- 


ance of Rusaia — it had at once protested against the 
attempt of the King of Prussia to establish any new 
form of union in Germany : it declared that the reso- 
lutions of the Erfurt Parliament were invalid, that the 
old relations of all the German states amongst each 
other under the ascendency of Austria remained in full 
strength, and that at the most it would consent to 
some modifications of the old constitutions. Accord- 
ingly, it invited all the German governments to a 
congress at Frankfurt to enter upon discussions on such 
points, but, in reply, Prussia denied the existence of the 
old Federal Constitution, and the princes of the numerous 
petty states which had formed the new League assem- 
bled at Berlin. Although at this " Congress 
of Princes " the Elector of Hesse-Kassel 
declared his withdrawal from the League, the other 
princes accepted the Prussian proposal of a permanent 
" Princes' Conference." 

Austria opposed and counteracted these aspirations 
of Prussia by the reopening of the Frankfurt Bundestag 
on September 2 : the controversy between the old and 
a new Germany was to be decided by force of will or by 
force of arms, the struggle was to be between Austria 
and Prussia, and the " mau of blood and iron " who had 
then already set Ins mind on the solution of that question, 
was soon to appear on the political arena of Ger 

In consequence of a rising of the people of H* 
Kassel in defence of their constitution against th< 
prince, the Elector, the latter left his country 
appealed for help to the Bundestag, ^whicli granted 
armed assistance, and appointed the Austrian General 





Haynau, as military dictator of the principality. Prussia 
[, and nearly all the Hessian officers resigned 
. . . their co tn missions, hi consequence there 

was a rupture between Fnissia and Austria, 
and the Emperor Nicholas of Russia was 
appealed to by both aides : he was closely related to 
■ ■! Prussia, but, being intent on continuing to 
play the part of protector nf Austria, whose monarchical 
Ion he had saved by the defeat of the Hun- 
garian national armies, he decided in favour of the 
claims of the reactionary Austrian Government, who 
also obtained the support of the Kings of Bavaria and 
Wiirtemberg. The Bundestag now decided upon mili- 
tary proceedings against Hesse, i.e. to suppress the 
popular rebellion by force of arms, and ordered Austrian 
and Bavarian troops to enter the principality for that 
purpose. The Prussian Government now also sent troops 
■■■. and seemed, at the time, determined to 
oppose the execution of the mandate of the Bundestag : 
it remained for the King to decide between armed 
resistance to Austria and the humiliation of the com- 
plete abandonment of Prussia's claim to leadership in 
any German union. For some time conflicting influences 
King hesitate, but his army was not then in 
a to fight with any prospect of success against 
the Austrian forces, which were returning victorious 
from the fighting in Italy, and he was also intimidated 
aded position taken up by the Czar in favour of 
Austria. In consequence he had to consent 
1850 ' t° the disastrous and mmuHatuig Conwn/tono/ 
in which he submitted to Austria's 

TV rrwlui ■ .'.ntinrir folt Hie National ilin- 


categorical demands for the dissolution of the Prussian 
League, the recognition of the Federal Diet (the old 
Bund) of 1615 as still existing, and the evacuation of 
Hesse by the Prussian troops ; he also had to accept 
settlement of affairs in Hesse and in Schleswig-Holstein 
by the Federal Diet. The Austrian Prime Minister had 
even desired to obtain, in addition, the concession that 
the entire Austrian empire should form part of the 
German Federation, but this proposal of a Central 
European power of seventy millions of inhabitants con- 
trolled by the Cabinet of Vienna did not suit the views of 
foreign powers : England protested that such an amal- 
gamation of forces would upset the balance of power in 
Europe, and France expressed the same opinion in threat- 
ening language, so that the project had to be dropped, 

The sacrifice of her political dignity and importance 
to which Prussia had thus been forced by Austria was 
bitterly resented by the educated classes of the great 
Frederick's proud nation, and was felt, with great disap- 
pointment and deep humiliation, by all true German 
patriots as the deathblow to their hopes and aspirations. 
In Prussia this unfortunate event was followed by the 
introduction of a reactionary system of governmei 
marked by subservience and hypocrisy, by petty perse- 
cution and mean oppression ; her best, most intellectual 
and enlightened citizens suffered under a hateful police 
regime, 1 their highest and noblest political aims were 

grace so keenly that lie committed suicide after having presented 
liis official report. 

1 The author's iiiathenialii-al professor at school had undergone 
twelve years imprisonment in a fortrcsn bpMOM as sluilent he had 
indulged in expressing too libival ideas in speeches and in draft* of 
puiiipHleln -ti/i-.l |.v |ii. 














.he objects of suspicion and vague apprehension to the 
birri of a degraded government : no more could be 
loped for Prussia's or Germany's liberty under existing 
circumstances, all hope bad to be deferred to a future 

King Frederick William IV. died and was 
im7 *' Bucc e e <led by his brother William, the Prince 
Regent, who, in 1850, had been strongly 
opposed to Prussia's submission to the Convention of 
Mini ut z, and who had the firm conviction that his country 
s entitled to hold a higher place in Germany and in 
FiinifM- than she had enjoyed in his brother's reign. He 
a certainly a firm believer in the divine right of kings, 
■ ut did not object to a certain amount of liberalism, 
md when, as Regent, he dismissed his brother's narrow- 
lindod, reactionary, Austrophobe ministry, he raised 
lopes anew which had been given up in 1850. But 
soon there arose a conflict l>etween him, when King, and 
his parliament on account of heavy extra grants of 
money demanded for the reorganisation of the army, 
the reason fur which was not evident to the representa- 
tives of the people, and which met with very strong 
opposition. In his difficult position the King, wishing 
to strengthen himself, appointed as Foreign Minister 
and President of the Cabinet Otto von Bismarck, who 
had been a member of the United Prussian Parliament in 
, and from 1351 Prussia's representative at the 
jikfurt Bundestag, where, in constant contact with 
i overbearing Austrian colleague, he had formed the 
that nothing but the military overthrow 
Donld give to Germany any tolerable system 
f national government., or secure tn Prussia even her 


legitimate share of influence in the concert of the great 
powers. In 1858 he had been sent as Ambassador to 
St. Petersburg, where he managed to establish those 
friendly relations between Russia and Prussia which 
in later years were so eminently useful, bo indispensable 
to his policy; and in May, 1862, he had occupied the same 
post at the- French Court, when he had his first oppor- 
tunity of forming hi.* opinion of Napoleon as a politician. 
As Prima Minister he met the refusal of the Prussian 
Lower House to pass the military budget by a dissolu- 
tion, and, aided by the War Minister, General von Roon, 
influenced the King in cynical disregard of all consti- 
tutional rights to rule without parliament, being deter- 
mined to carry out, against and in spite, of all opposition, 

his plans, which could not even be hinted at 
1861 ' *° tne P" ?' 6 without the chance of raising 

Austria's suspicions. When a congress of 
German princes was assembled at Frankfurt by the 
Emperor Francis Joseph with the object of remodelling 
the constitution of the Federation, King William was 
induced hy Bismarck to refuse the most pressing am 
flattering invitations to attend, so that the meetii 
dissolved without any result. 

Frederick VIII, King of Denmark, dii 
"""gg^ In accordance with the London Protocol 

1852 — not recognised by the German Bundi 
tag — he was succeeded as king of the whole monarch 
by Christian IX, who accepted the recently passed 
Danish constitution, by which the duchy of Schies 1 
was incorporated as an integral part, of the hangdoi 
This step produced great excitement all over Germai 
where public opinion was strongly in favour nt the 0O1 

the i 


plete separation of Schles wig- Hols tein from Denmark 
to be independent duchies under Prince Frederick of 
ibiifg, and to he attached to the German 
Federation as it then existed. But Bismarck intended 
that Schleswig and Hobtein should be incorporated 
more or less directly with Prussia, and should be made 
the means of the destruction of the existing Federal 
i-stern and of the expulsion of Austria from Germany. 
That another petty state should lie added to the number 
of those whicli acted as Austria's vassals and instruments, 
mold in bis eyes have been detrimental to the interests 
of Prussia, and lie determined to prevent this calamity 
n spite of all the short-sighted opposition of her tinsus- 
> people. 
Austria and Prussia, as signatories of the London 
Protocol, were obliged to recognise the succession of 
Christian IX, but the public opinion of Germany de- 
manded from the Federal Diet the at least temporary 
:, of the two duchies. Under the influence of 
S and Austria, the Diet determined on the oceupa- 
BoUtein only as belonging to Germany, for 
which purpose Hanoverian and Saxon troops were 
A and despatched. Now Prussia and Austria 
lemanded of Denmark to renounce the constitution of 
tfovomber u opposed to former stipulations (1852), by 
which she had promised to respect the ancient rights and 
aim* of the two duchies, and when this demand met 
with refusal from the Danish Government, 
i^6j* t ' Prussian and Austrian troops entered Schles- 
wig. The war thus commenced was tiisiur- 
afly dixa* tfous to Denmark, and was concluded by the 
peace of Vienna (I Ictober 30), by which she was obliged 


to give up Sc hies wig and Holstein in favour of the Allies, 
and undertook to recognise the validity of the arrange- 
ments which would be made by them fur the governmer 
of the two provinces. 

After the Federal troops originally charged by thi 
Bund with the ejection of the Danes had been recallet 
on the motion of Prussia and Austria, these two powers 
settled on a joint government for the two duchies, 
whilst the question of the succession was being eagerly 
discussed at the Federal Diet, in diplomatic negotiations 
and in the press, the Austrian and Prussian joint- 
commissaries soon found themselves in regrettable con- 
flict. In order to terminate this unsuitable arrangement 
and to avoid further recurrence of friction, the final 
decision on the status of the two duchies was adjourned 

sine die, and the Convention of Gastrin was 
"|g* ' concluded between Prussia and Austria, by 

which it was stipulated that the two powers 
reserved for themselves the joint sovereignty over the 
two duchies; that Austria was to undertake provisionally 
the ad mini strati 011 of Holstein. Prussia that of Schleswig ; 
that Kiel was to be a Federal port under the command 
of Prussia, who was also to have a line of communication 
and of postal and telegraphic connection through Hol- 
stein. In execution of this treaty Prussia occupied 
Schleswig, whilst Holstein received an Austrian governoi 
and garrison. This arrangement averted the immediate 
outbreak of war, peace was made possible for a few 
months longer, and thus Bismarck gained time to per- 
suade his hesitating king to the adoption of extrern 
measures and to carry out some arrangement ■ 
Austria's enemy outside Germany. 

of extreme 
ment with 



T having been constituted as one kingdom a few 
lara previously, mainly by the intervention and assist - 
c of Napoleon, was longing for the possession of the 
■ovince of Venetia which still remained in the hands of 
1, and the prospect of attaining that coveted object 
ight well tempt Italian statesmen into an alliance with 
ssia. But Bismarck, knowing that they could not act 
mut Napoleon's permission, paid a visit to this 
whit thought himself a master in the arts of 
policy, and induced him in private interviews — no doubt 
by verbal promises of an indemnification in the shape of 
territories on the French north-east frontier — to put no 
obstacle in Italy's way, if her statesmen should be witling 
t.i join Prussia, Napoleon evidently thought that Austria 
would prove a match for both powers allied, and that 
in Mae of an undecided struggle he would be able to act 
as mediator at the price of German territory west of the 
Rhine. Alter long negotiations a treaty of defensive 
and offensive alliance was concluded between 
^£ ' Prussia and Italy. As soon as this act was 
notified by Napoleon to the Austrian Govern- 
ment, the latter offered to Italy the province of Venetia 
as price for her neutrality, hoping to compensate them- 
taking Silesia from Prussia. The offer was 

1 the meantime Austria had not ceased to advocate 

e recognition of the Prince of Augustenburg as Duke of 

j-Holstein and his reception as a sovereign 

1 the German Federation, but Prussia had stipu- 

i her conditions, if this were to happen, as follows : 

r military forces of the two duchies would form an 

1! part of the Prussian army and navy, the adminia- 



tration of the post and telegraph was to be under the 
Prussian ministerial department, and a few important 
military posts on the northern frontier were to be 
handed over to Prussia for protection against Danish 
aggression. The Austrian Government had permitted 
the inhabitants of Hofstein to agitate in favour of the 
pretender, and at public meetings a demand was made 
for the convocation of the provincial estates. Bismarck 
thereupon had taxed Austria with abetting revolution and 
had demanded explanations, which were refused by the 
Emperor, and on March 16 the Austrian Government 
announced that they should refer the affairs of Schleswig- 
Holstcin to the Federal Diet. As this step was a clear 
breach of the Convention of Gastein, King William was 
greatly offended by it, and now fell in more willingly 
with the warlike policy of his minister, although 
the party at Court in favour of peace was still very 
strong. In fact, public opinion in Germany generally and 
even in Prussia was greatly incensed against Bismarck, 
who was denounced as the criminal instigator of fratri- 
cidal war of Germans against Germans : the word 
Bwderkrieg was the chief topic of the man in the 
street. He had aroused general hatred and indignation, 
and even the King had become exceedingly unpopular, 
especially in his own capital, as the author can well 
remember , the parliament had fought obstinately 
against the still more obstinate minister, until it was 
prorogued onoe more. An attempt on bis life was made 
in the streets of Berlin. 

Warlike preparations had begun on both 
sides, when invitations to a Congress were 
issued jointly by France, England and Russia; but the 

May as 

intended mediation of the powers was frustrated by the 
demand of Austria, that no proposal should be discussed 
which might involve an increase of power or territory 
to one of the states invited. At the same time Austria 
proposed to the Federal Diet to proceed to the settlement 
of the affairs of Schleswig-Holstein, and convoked the 
H i.i 1st tin Estates by the governor of that province. 
Bismarck now declared the treaty of Gastein to be 
broken, and ordered the Prussian troops in Schleswig to 
enter Holstein, whereupon General von Gablenz with- 
drew the Austrian force into Hanoverian territory. 
Diplomatic relations were broken ofl between Austria 
and Prussia on June 12, and Austria declared in the 
Federal Diet the step taken by Prussia as a 
breach of the internal peace of the Federa- 
she then demanded and obtained by a large 
majority of votes the mobilisation of the entire army of 
the Federation, exclusive of the Prussian army corps. 
Thereupon the representative of Prussia declared that 
this act was equivalent to the dissolution of the Federal 
■ i left Frankfurt. On the following day Prussia 
i of Saxony, Hanover and Hesse-Kassel to 
withdraw from the decision of the Federal Diet, to keep 
(bur troops on the peace footing and to join a new 
League under the leadership of Prussia. As this demand 
was refused, Prussian troops marched into these terri- 
i the war had begun. 






A, The Prussian Military System 

After the Prussian army and nation had 
been laid prostrate in 1806 by the defeats at 
Jena and Auerstadt, and after the ignominious treaty of 
Tilsit had been concluded, which reduced Prussia to 
comparative insignificance, General Scharnhorst prof- 
the idea to replace the hitherto professional array, 
ich had stood quite outside the people and apart 
im i!, by a national army ; in fact, to create a nation 
in arms by making every citizen consider it not only his 
first duty, but his great privilege to give bis personal 
ice for the defence of his country and its institutions, 
execution of this principle every citizen was declared 
■ iHii^rv service from his 17th to his 45th year 
of age, and this system lias remained in force ever since. 
By virtue of this law every man pronounced physically 
fit had to serve for two years with the colours, whilst 
'iuring the remaining years of his liability he passed 
through various classes of reserves. The actual term of 
lervioe In the line and the re-serves had originally been 
at twenty years, but had by 1860 been reduced to 
■e years ; the yearly contingent of recruits, originally 
St K>,000 from the number of troops which Prussia 


had been permitted to maintain by the treaty of Tilsit, 
had been adhered to, although the population had 
doubled under careful administration. This number 
had been chosen as representing J per cent, of the popu- 
lation in 1807, but at the same percentage the yearly 
contingent of recruits in 1860 should have been 80,000. 
The King after his succession to the throne desired to 
obtain this higher establishment, but met with strong 
opposition. Of course, a system of general liability to 
military service should be worked in such a way that the 
industrial and commercial life and work of the nation 
are disturbed by its requirements in as small a degree as 
possible, but the military interests demand that all men 
be trained, whilst with the colours, so thoroughly that 
they can be employed again at any moment with the 
certainty of proving themselves efficient. In Germany 
two years are considered sufficient for such training, and 
this period has recently been adopted again by the 
Government instead of the term of three years favoured 
by King William, who thought this length of time in- 
dispensable and insisted on its introduction in spite of 
the strong opposition of his parliament, and even against 
the advice of his war minister, who did not consider the 
difference worth the conflict wliich it caused between 
the crown and the people : the yearly contingent of 
recruits was raised from 40,000 to (13,000. 

As stated above, ''very male subject of 
the state was legally liable to service if pro- 
nounced physically fit, but there were various cases of 
exemption. Those young men who had attained a 
certain educational standard, and who were able and 
willing to clothe, equip and maintain themselves during 




their service with the colours, were only liable to one 
year's service, were called volunteers, and could choose 
the branch of the service and the regiment in which 
they liked to serve. If smart in drill and all other 
matters military, they were appointed and admitted as 
officers of the reserve of the regiment after duly passing 
an examination in military subjects, serving a term of 
probation during manceuvres and being elected by the 
officers of the regiment. This part of the system pro- 
vided and still provides a very strong and efficient 
reserve of officers, at present well above 50,000. 

The officers of the standing army are obtained from 
the pupils of the higher cadet schools, which give a 
partly literary, partly military education — free to sons 
of officers — and by volunteers of a high educational 
standard and certain means, who, after a year's practical 
training in the unit, are sent as under officers for another 
year to one of the Fahnrich&sckulen, the course at 
-miliar to that at our Royal Military College. 
As the number of officers required in the large standing 
army is exceedingly great and the pay of the lower 
grades ts extremely small, the supply is never excessive, 
to that entrance does not depend on a competitive 
examination, but the colonel of any regiment has it in 
his power to refuse admission to a would-be candidate 
for a commission : they are called amrtiageurs or officer 

The armv was essentially territorial, us the 
Organisation . J . ' * 

men of each army corps were recruited from 

only one province, whilst the Guards were recruited 
from the whole kingdom ; there were thus eight army 
' tops of Guards, each consisting of 


two divisions of infantry and additional corps troops. 
Each division consisted of two brigades of two regiments 
each, and the regiment was divided into three battalions 
of four companies ; to each division was attached one 
regiment of cavalry and one Abteiluwj of field 
artillery, four batteries of six guns each. The corps 
troops belonging to each army corps consisted of one 
Abteilung of horse artillery of three batteries and one 
Abteilung of field artillery of four batteries (thus there 
were fifteen batteries or ninety guns in each army 
corps), one battalion of jager (sharpshooters— men 
drawn mostly from the Royal Forest service), one 
battalion of pioneers (engineers), one battalion of train 
(Array Service Corps), besides a cavalry brigade of three 
regiments. Each army corps also had nine ammuni- 
tion columns, one pontoon column and three or fi 
field hospitals. 

The strength of an infantry battalion on the peace 
footing was about GOO men, which on mobilisation was 
raised to 1,000 by the addition of the youngest class of 
reserves ; the other classes were formed into reserve 
battalions, the cadres of which were maintained in peace 
time in the regimental reserve (Landwehr) districts, 
where all reservists, including reserve officers, of any 
regiment residing in the locality had to report thi'i 
selves once a year on a certain date. 

When mobilised the whole army totalli 
Armament j^y^, men ^^ 1000 ^ The inf(ml 

were armed with the new needle-gun, the first breed 
loader used in Europe, introduced since 1858 and trie 
in action for the first time in 1864 in the Danish war. 
It had an efficient range of only 600 to 700 paces, and in 







ballistical properties it was inferior to the Austrian rifle ; 
in consequence it had attracted so little notice, and so 
many doubte were entertained as to its value, that within 
the eight years since its introduction in the Prussian army 
no other great power had taken into consideration the 
advisability of providing its battalions with a rifle of 
the same description. The new weapon was certainly 
*till vltv primitive, for firing at more than 300 paces 
was considered a waste of ammunition, and only picked 
EMU wi-re allowed to use a greater range at special 
objects. But in spite of these undoubted initial short- 
comings the needle-gun afforded the immense advantage 
that it could be loaded not only rapidly, but also when 
the man was prostrate, and this superiority showed 
itself in a very striking manner in the disproportion of 
the losses of the opposing forces on the field of battle. 
The possibility of its misuse in the shape of extravagance 
in the expenditure of ammunition and consequent bad 
shooting was counteracted by a severe fire discipline 
the careful individual training of the men, which was 
testified to by the fact that only two millions of cartridges 
were used in this campaign by the Prussian infantry : 
I omupurison of this number with the lists of Austrian 
casualties shows that the figure is equivalent to an 
expenditure of fifty bullets for every man put hors de 
combat. This is a very low average when compared 
with the number of bullets used by the. British army in 
the Crimean War, viz. 740 for each casualty. 

The Prussian artillery were armed with 4-pounder, 
S-pounder and 12-pounder bronze guns, of which 40 per 
d ; their effective range didnotexceed 

G«> paces, and on the whole they did not do good 


service ; they were also badly handled tactically, bei 
generally kept behind the infantry columns, so that they 
often came into action too late. 

B. The Austrian Military S\.-ni:M 


The system by which the Austrian army 
recruited, maintained and completed 
to war strength was that of conscription on the French 
model, which implied that every individual unwilling 
to render military service had the liberty of purchasing 
a substitute from amongst those wbo had drawn a 
lucky number at the recruit lottery. The total length 
service amounted to eight years in the line and ti 
years in the reserve, but as a rule men were kept onb 
three years with the colours. 

Military history has shown that this system, besid' 
providing only a small number of reserves to fill up 
cadres on mobilization, produces a lower intellectual 
and mora! standard in the mass of an army than is 
provided by the system of universal service such as 
bad obtained in the Prussian monarchy, and the truth 
of this conclusion has been acknowledged by the fact 
that all the continental countries of Europe and Japan 
have since adopted the Prussian system. But there 
was another factor which came into consideration, the 
great difference between the homogeneous nature of the 
Prussian units and the composite character of the 
Austrian forces ; for the latter consisted of men of various 
nationalities not at all friendly towards each other, 
some of which had in fact not many years before fought 
obstinately against their own war-lord. In consequence 



i a 





of the political differences and quarrels between the 
component parts of the vast empire, Italian regiments 
were garrisoned in Bohemia, Hungarian regiments in 
Venice, so that the calling in and the joining of the 
reserves presented great difficulties in the case of mobil- 
isation, which was thereby much complicated and delayed. 
Again, Ihe war organisation of the Austrian army was 
not necessarily the same as the peace distribution and 
composition of the forces, but the ordre de bataiUe. was 
fortuitous and arbitrary. The consequence was that 
at the outbreak of war some large units might find them- 
selves under generals who did not know their subordinate 
commanding officers nor the standard of training they 
had attained in their regiments : this fact would naturally 
be felt as a serious defect and drawback in the mechanism 
of the conduct of operations. 

In absolute and still more in relative 

and strength the Austrian military forces were 
Organisation j n f er jor to those of Prussia, for with a popu- 
lation of 35 millions the total strength of 
the army oould only be raised to 000,000 men, whilst 
KB the strength or the Prussian forces produced 
by a population of only 18 millions. In fact, the military 
organisation of Austria might have sufficed for ordinary 

s of war, especially when the armed assistance of all 
ttiH other German states could be secured, and therefore 
her statesmen ought to have prevented political situa- 

s such as placed her then in opposition to Prussia 

1 with Italy, wliich latter power, though still in its 

infancy, could place in the field more than 300,000 men. 

On the peace establish merit the army was organised 

in seven army corps, each consisting of four brigades of 




two regiments of infantry and one jager battalion, each 
with one battery of eight guns attached to it. The 
infantry regiment had four battalions, but only three of 
them were included in the brigades, whilst the fourth 
battalions were used for garrison purposes ; thus each 
brigade in the field army had seven battalions, and an 
army corps had twenty -eight battalions and thirty- two 
guns to which were added the following corps troops : 
one cavalry regiment, six batteries called the reserve 
artillery, one company of engineers and one field ambu- 
lance. The order for mobilisation arranged the field 
army in ten army corps, of which seven were formed as 
northern army to act against Prussia, with a cavalry 
complement of four divisions of six regiments each. 

The infantry were armed with the rifled 
muzzle-loader, model Lorenz, which had a 
lunger range and a less elevated trajectory than the 
Prussian needle-gun : it fired an expansive bullet, modi 
Podewils. But since the Italian campaign in 1859, 
when the French infantry had been most successful 
their attacks with the bayonet, the Austrian infantry 
had been trained and taught to rely entirely on this 
mode of fighting, and the Government, in its craze for 
economy, had only made a yearly allowance of twenty 
rounds per man for musketry training, so that the men 
could neither shoot straight nor the officers judge 
distances. If this had not been the case, the natural 
tactics for the Aiistrians, with their greater range rifle 
and greater number of rifled guns— they had no smooth- 
bore weapons — would have been to avoid close combat 
as much as possible, to engage the enemy's artillery 
2,000 paces, to make their infantry advance to abou' 



GOO paces from the enemy outside their effective range 
of fire, to overwhelm them with a steady, well-aimed 
fire from that distance, and thus to prepare the final 
attack. Instead of proceeding in this rational way, the 
Austrian infantry almost invariahly tried the attack 
without previous preparation by fire : their generals per- 
haps were influenced by the opinion of Colonel Schonfeld 
who had been military attache at the Prussian head- 
quarters in the Danish war, and who had reported 
that a Prussian corps was such a rabble of reservists 
that they would not be able to resist the attack of an 
Austrian corps for twenty minutes. 

Artillery fire at 2,000 paces against the Prussian 1 
artillery would have been most advantageous to them, i 
for as the shells from their guns had not a flat trajectory, 
they were not well suited for use against infantry 
advancing from a greater distance. Their artillery - 
nevertheless established a reputation for their fire 
efficiency, hut this was really only due to the fact that 
they frequently had fixed objecte for targets, sueh as 
woods and farms. They kept up fire very constantly, 
bat iliil not inflict considerable losses, nor did they 
succeed in checking the forward movement of the 
Prussian lines. 

Such were the organisation, strength and 

of the properties of the forces which 

were to oppose each other on battlefields where the mam 

power of decision in the infantry combat was, for the 

shifted from the columns to the skirmishers' 

thus marking a most important tactical progress. 
r or the new infantry fire by breach -loaders demanded 

quick deployment of columns into skirmishing 


lilies, and as this movement took a long time with batta- 
lion columns, the employment of company columns now 
became a case of necessity, and the company became 
the fighting unit : the company officer at last found 
his proper position as one of the strongest elements and 
props of the modern conduct of combat. 

C. Military Condition of Austria's Allies 

The following German states had de- 
j kingdoms 
of Bavaria, Saxony, Hanover and Wiir- 
temberg, the grand-duchies of Baden and Hesse- 
Darmstadt, the duchy of Nassau and the electorate of 
Hesse-Kassel. The armed forces of all the southern 
states composed the VII and VIII Bumlcs Corps under 
the command of Prince Karl of Bavaria, and contained 
the following contingents : — 

52,000 Bavarians, 16,250 Wurte m be rgers— 10,850 
Badish, 9,4(X) Hessian3 (Darmstadt), 5,400 Nassovians : 
total 94,1 xx I. 

The Saxon army, about 24,000 strong, was intended 
to join the Austrian army in Bohemia : they had always 
enjoyed a high reputation for efficiency. The army 
of Hanover, also of good quality, was 18,000 strong, 
and endeavoured to join the southern forces ; the 
contingent of Hesse-Kassel 7,000 strong, joined the 
composite VIII Corps under Prince Alexander of 

Thus the total strength of the armed forces provided 
by Austria's allies was 143,000, but the fighting value 


of the majority of them was not equal to the numerical 

I). Possible Results of Hostilities. 
That the war against Prussia was expected by the 
Austrian generals to be full of danger and difficulty 
was proved by the conduct of Archduke AJbrecht, the 
son of the famous Archduke Charles, who defeated 
Napoleon at Aspern. He did not wish to have the 
chief command in Germany, but claimed that same 
position in Italy ; Benedek was to make room for him 

I there, and also to let liim have his well experienced 
chief of the staff, the Archduke John. After a short 
Benedik, vain and weak as he was, allowed 
himself to be persuaded by the Emperor to accept the 
more important command, but without insisting on 
having the full power of directive indispensable in such 
! it is true, it was hinted to him that probably 
Mating differences would be settled by the 
campaign in Italy and thus actual fighting be avoided 
the north. He also allowed General Kriznianic 
to be imposed upon him as Ids chief of the staff: 
this officer was in the confidence of Archduke Albrecht, 

I who therefore had an interest in having him attached 
to Benedek. Krizmanic had been present at the battle 
■ '( BoUerinoas sub-chief of the staff of the first army, 
and had shown himself so totally incompetent that any 
• -ut in its proper senses would have been very 
careful not to have employed liim again, but as favourite 
Ubrecht he represented the small but 
powerful war party. Being a clever, cunning, astute 
Croatian, he had known how to get into favour with 


His Imperial Highness by ostentatious adoration 
late Archduke Charles. 

There were decided pessimistic feelings amongst the 
higher Austrian military authorities ; they were well- 
founded and foreboding omens of the worst calamities : 
for man can only conquer when he has self-confidence 
and cheerful courage unclouded by doubt, such as was 
possessed by the triumvirate in Berlin, who enjoyed the 
unshaken confidence of their king in spite of all intrigues 
in the royal family and court circles. 

E. Political Conditions in Europe. 

It was very fortunate for Germany that in 1866 
neither France nor Russia were ready to take action, 
the former through the difficulties created by the ill- 
fated Mexican expedition,' the latter through the after 
effects of the last Polish revolution in 1863 ; for if these 
two states, as in the seven years' war, had joined Aus- 
tria, which her government might have attained by 
holding out to them the possiblity of acquiring respect- 


towards subjects of the three nations. After the occupation of 
La Vera Cm* Mid rwultk'm negotiations with the President Jnarei, 
England ami Njnin withdrew from tin* operations ; t he French, after 
severe fighting, took Pueblo in May, 1MA3, and entered Mexico. 
Ati nKScuihly nf notable"- then proclaimed a monarchy, and Maii- 
milian, a brother of [he Austrian Eni|H*ror. nceepl'-tl (In* imperial 
crown offered to hira by Na|ioleon. In spite of the continued 
presence of French troops, the republican force-; rendered successful 
resistance to tin- establishment of the iiri|n*ri;ii authority, and when, 
after the conclusion of the war of mocMOQ, I80S, the (lovoriiriient 
of the United St'ile.-. dcmiUHlcd the of I In* French forces, 
the fate of the now monarchy huh waled. Maximilian refused to 
leave together with them, was besieged at Qnerelaro, taken prisonir, 
put before ,1 court-martial and shot (June, ISO"). 



ively the frontier of the Rhine and the boundary line 
of the lower Vistula, Prussia might have been crushed 
and almost annihilated, as had been the wish and the 
object of the Cabinet of Vienna in 1850. If Austria had 
then annexed Silesia, if Saxony had regained the terri- 
tory given to her by Napoleon in 1807 and restored to 
Prussia by the Congress of Vienna in 1815, if Han- 
over had been extended to the Rhine by the acquisition 
■ if Westphalia, the remnants of Prussia would once 
again— »s in 1807 — have become the focus of resistance 
to reactionary government, and the supremacy of 
Austria would hardly have lasted ; for the princes and 
the people of the German states objected even more 
strongly to the latter than to the hegemony of Prussia. 
The final result of these combinations would probably 
have been the resuscitation of Prussia with the help of 
Russia, as in 1813, which then would have meant to 
Austria the loss of Silesia, Galicia and Hungary, and 
would have opened for Russia the door to the Balkan 
jK'uiusula and Constantinople, even if Prussia had 
obtained complete possession of a badly clipped Ger- 
many. The destruction of Austria would have been 
the natural consequence of her obstinate desire for 
Aggrandisement, for she cannot protect herself under 
normal conditions against Russia by her own forces, 
unaided by the power of Germany. 

P. Prussia's Aims, Difficulties and Possibilities 
The object of Prussia's policy was, as shown in the 
i'lL'tion, the acquisition of Holstein and Schlcswig 
and the military hegemony in North Germany : pro- 
posals embodying these demands were made to Austria 



up to the last moment. Tliis deliberate statement of 
a definite object marked a great progress in Prussian 
policy, for since the death of Frederick the Great clear 
aims had boon wanting or they had been stupidly 
chosen, as in the period from 1786 to 1806, when the 
Prussian policy started without a definite plan and 
ended with a deplorable disaster. Likewise there was 
no independent policy between 1806 and 1850 : it was 
dictated alternately from Vienna or St. Petersburg, and 
when it was devised in Berlin up to 1862, it was pusil- 
lanimous, therefore hurtful rather than resultless. This 
lack of independent, energetic action during fifty years 
had reduced Prussia to a condition of universal low 
estimation, and it was found very difficult to conduct 
a strong foreign policy by the minister who wanted to 
carry out a cool and practical system of policy without 
dynastic senti mentality and submission to court influ- 
ences. Intrigues and rivalries were so powerful that 
when the war broke out in spite of their machinations 
and counter efforts, even the most necessary matters 
had not been considered, the most indispensable meas- 
ures had not been prepared. Thus the court had hoped 
up to the last moment that Hesse and Hanover would 
concede the demanded neutrality of their contingents, 
and in consequence the Government had omitted 
provide for the eventually necessary administration 
these territories and to form a decision about the fate 
of their armed fortes. It would also seem that it would 
have been correct and natural to have exploited the 
political conditions of the South German states : Bava- 
ria wanted to take the leadership amongst them, 
this claim was refuted by the others. These attt 



i, but 



formed by Napoleon in 1806 as members of tbe Rbein- 
bund, and exploited bybitn with an iron hand till 1813 
to the advantage of France, were quite unfitted for 
independence, and thus had to fall under Austrian, 
French or Prussian supremacy : they were the certain 
prey of the power which acted rapidly, boldly, powerfully. 
Under these circumstances it would appear to have been 
advisable to have occupied Frankfurt at once, to have 
forced Baden ' and Hesse -Darmstadt to hand over their 
OOBtfngeots, and to have invaded Wiirtemberg, with 
the alternative proposal of alliance or absorption. The 
road to Munich would then have been open, and Austria 
being then powerless to help Bavaria, a Prussian army 
corps with South German auxiliaries could have been 
on the Bavarian frontier of Austria on the Danube 
by July 22, the day on which the armistice was 
DOBclttded. Such energetic procedure would have made 
any intervention on the part of France quite impossible 
and illusory, but it would have been useless to propose 
such projects to King William, who, imbibed with legiti- 
rnistic ideas, would have considered such a modusajendi 
aa much too forcible and unjustifiable. We do not 
meet in the actual political combinations the boldness 
of ideas and resolution, the rapidity of execution and 
the formidable intensity of action of a Frederick the 
Great : everything remained w thin the limits of medi- 
ocrity. But then one must make the allowance that 
Prussia was only awaking from a long sleep of peace 
and from her political lethargy, which had been the result 
of exhaustion caused by the French occupation and 

■ I linden wnn not disinclined lo net on the side 
grand-duke was the son-in-law of King William. 



extortions from 1806 to 1813. The state recovered 
during that period of political stagnation from the fear- 
ful material misery produced by the Napoleonic wars, 
the population gradually regained something of the 
former comfort and prosperity, and thus became once 
again more active and more hopeful, and enterprising 
enough to throw off the dangerous system of passive 
endurance and inactive indifference. 


Mobilisation and Concentration of Forces 

. The first order for mobilisation had been 
given in the beginning of May, and the 
army corps affected by it were ordered to assemble as 
follows : the 6th Corps at Neisse, the Dth at Schweid- 
nits, the 3rd and 4th between Cottbus and Torgau, but 
the 8th Division (half of the 4th Corps) was to remain at 
first at Erfurt. The 8th Corps was to concentrate at 
Koblenz with the exception of the 32nd Brigade, which 
was to assemble at Wetzlar. The Guards Corps was to 
assemble in Berlin, and of the 7th Corps the 1 3th Division 
ll Mimli'ii and Bielefeld, the 14th at Miinster and Hamm. '■ 

"n i he whole such concentrations of large bodies of ' 
troops are not advisable before the beginning of their 
transport towards the frontier, but in this case the 
nature of the strategical deployment (dcr Aufmarsek) 
Mttld not be fixed upon unlil it was known whether 
Bavaria and the other German states would be hostile or 

When in the course of the month of May it became 

probable that Prussia would practically stand by herself, 

nment knew that they would have to encounter 

the following forces : 36,000 men in North Germany, 

100,000 men in South Germany, 2tJ0,000 Austrians and 

The main task was to oppose the latter with a force 
sufficiently strong to ensure decisive victory over them, 
as such an event would easily paralyse the badly prepared 
and organised South German contingents, and as the 
seven army corps, including the Guards, in the eastern 
part of the monarchy did not seem sufficient for that 
purpose, the 7th and 8th Army Corps also were ordered 
to take part in the campaign against the Austriaus, with 
the exception of the 13th Division, which was to be the 
nucleus of a special army intended for the eventual 
defence of the Rhine-lands or for offensive movements 
against the contingents of the smaller states. 

On the eastern theatre of operations it would have 
been desirable to have massed the whole army in one 
position which would equally well cover Berlin and 
Breslau, and the most suitable point for that object 
would have been the neighbourhood of Gorlitz. But 
the concentration of a quarter of a million of men at. one 
point by means of only two or three lines of railway 
would have taken a few weeks, therefore nothing re- 
mained but to assemble two separate armies for the 
protection of Brandenburg and Silesia. It was evident 
that a concentrated Austrian army might fall with full 
force upon one of the two halves, but the geographical 
formation of the theatre of war could not be altered, nor 
the fact that an enemy in Bohemia stands between 
Silesia and Lusatia. 

The territory of Saxony could not be used for the 
movement of troops before the declaration of war, so 
that the lines of railway available for this purpose 



practically ended at Zuitz, Hallo, Herzlxifi, Gorlilz. I 
Schweidnitz, and Neisse ; the troops had to be detrained 
at these places, which formed a curved line of a length 
of about 280 miles ; whether the concentration of the 
separate corps bi two armies would have to be done by 
marches along the frontier or by means of operations 
towards a common centre depended on the final decision 
with regard to the choice between the offensive and the 

On May 14 General Moltke, head of the Prussian 
General Staff, reported to the King that on June 4th 
270,000 men would be ready to march into Saxony and 
Bohemia ; he advised to declare war on that day and to 
begin the invasion on the 5th : the King emphatically 
refused to do this. In consequence the troops, after 
detraining, had to be placed in cantonments near the 
terminus stations of the various lines along the frontier. 
This procedure was in a way a compromise between 
tiic military requirements and the reluctance of the 
King to begin the war. 

On May 16 orders were issued to brbig the 2nd Army 
'orps from Pomerauia into cantonments at Herzberg, 
le Guards were to march into quarters between Baruth 
id Luckau ; the 3rd and 4th Corps were still between 
Torgau and Luckau, and a special corps of cavalry was 
formed of the cavalry regiments of these four corps, 
■hich now were constituted as the 1st Army under the 
mmand of General Prince Frederick Charles. 1 
On May 24 orders were given that the 6th Army 

1 The "o. called " red prince," father of H.B.H. the Duoheu of 






Corps should occupy cantonments about Waldenburg, 
the 5th round Landshut, their corps cavalry in one 
division round Striegau : these troops were to be the 
2nd or Silcsian Army under the command of the Crown 
Prince of Prussia, who as Frederick III succeeded his 
father William as Etnperor of Germany in 1888. For 
the protection of the frontier of Upper Silesia, the south- 
eastern portion of the province, two small separate 
detachments were formed near Oderberg, one under 
General Knobelsdorf, the other under General Count 

The 1st Army Corps, located in East Prussia, re- 
ceived orders to get ready for gradual transport to 
Gbrlitz, where it was to form a link between the 1st and 
the 2nd Army, and to be ultimately apportioned to the 
one or the other according to circumstances. 

Previous orders given to the 8th Army Corps were 
now altered ; its two divisions, after assembling at Koln 
and Koblenz respectively, were to be transported by 
rail via Hanover to Halle, where they were to go into 
cantonments. The 14th Division of the 7th Corps was 
to be carried by rail to Zeitz, and to form, together with 
the two divisions of the 8th Corps, a third army, the 
Army of the Elbe, under General Herwarth von Bitten- 

The brigade Beyer of the 8th Corps, detached 
Wetzlar, was reinforced till it became a strong division 
of eighteen battalions with some artillery and cavalry. 
The division Goben was at Minden, and the division 
Manteufel entered Holstein from Schleswig on June 7. 

The division Beyer should have been ordered to march 
at once on the outbreak of hostilities for Frankfurt am 



Hanau so as to isolate the Hessians. But the Court in 
Berlin entertained to the last, aa before mentioned, the 
hope of inducing the King of Hanover and the Elector 
gf Heme-K&ssel to conclude a treaty of neutrality, and 
the opinion prevailed that in such a case the divisions 
(ioebd and Beyer were sufficiently strong to contain and 
neutralise the South German forces. But as the division 
Manteufel would, under any conditions, have been in a 
better position at Eisenach or Erfurt than in Holstein, v 
it ought to have been sent and arrived there as early as 
June lo, which might have caused the Hanoverians 
to forego their attempt of breaking through to the south. 
A reserve corps was formed at Berlin composed of 
twenty-four battalions of infantry, twenty-four squad- 
BOH Ukl one reserve artillery regiment of eight batteries : 
they were intended to occupy the line of communication 
hoi were capable of employment in the field army. 

During these moves the railway lines transported 
in twenty-one days, 197,000 men, 55,000 horses, and 
,300 vehicles, including guns, over distances varying 
from 140 to 420 miles without any accident or serious 

Bi-iwcen May 30 and June 8 the 2nd, 3rd and 4th 

closed in to the left to get nearer to the 2nd Army, 

during the same days the three divisions of the 

my of the Elbe were brought to this river from Zeitz 

Halle, and went into cantonments on both its banks, 

ween the Mulde and the Elster. The last parts of 

1st Army Corps had arrived at Goriita on June 6, and 

the following day the corps started to march on 

;hberg. The original extent of the armies had now 

shortened by nearly one half. 



Concentration of Austrian Forces 
In the beginning of June the bulk of the Austrian 
North Army was assembled in Moravia, where Field- 
Marshal 1 Benedek had his headquarters at Olmiitz, whilst 
the I Army Corps only was in the north of Bohemia. 
There were four army eorps on the direct line Vienna- 
Neisse, near Briinn and Zittau, the II Corps to the 
west of this line near Zwittau, the VI to the east of it 
at Prerau. These two corps, with the IV between them 
on the direct line, were probably meant to form the first 
line of the ordre de hotaUle for the advance into Silesia 
with the III, X, and VIII Corps as reserves, the latter 
as far south as Auspitz and Austerlitz ; three large 
cavalry divisions were in cantonments between these 
groups : it would have been more appropriate to have 
had them pushed forward to Pardubitz and Hohen- 
mauth in order to establish in that way a connection 
with the I Corps stationed on the river Isor, where it 
was waiting for the arrival of the Saxon Corps. Benedek 
had written to the Crown Prince of Saxony, who was in 
command of the latter, that he intended to commence 
his march to Josephstadt on about June 10, to effect a 
junction there with his own and the I Corps under 
General Count Clam Gallas, but at that date many units 
had not yet arrived, and the arrangements for transport 
mid supplies were tar from complete. Then again the 
Austrian War Office had informed the Bavarian Govern- 
ment that the North Army would by the end of June be 
concentrated in the north-east of Bohemia between the 
Elbe and the Iser, and had asked for the early assembly 

1 !'■ kl zi'ii t-im im< 

•■ the Austrian title. 


of the Bavarian troops and additional forces from the 
VHIth Bundescorps (Wurtemberg, Baden, etc.), in the 
neighbourhood of Baireuth-Schweinfurt, so as to be in a 
position ready to join the Austrians. But on June 18 
Benedek waa informed that the Bavarian Government 
had no intention of sending their troops into Bohemia, 
a decision which might have been foreseen ; for it was 
at least unreasonable to expect that Bavaria and the 
other South German states would send their forces to 
swell the Austrian army, and thus leave their own 
provinces undefended and open to the unhindered incur- 
■MB .if the Prussian Western Army. The mere suggestion 
of such a step tends to show bow the Austrian Govern- 
ment were used to treat the interests of the smaller 
German states. 
The first reliable news about the disposition of the 
istnan forces was received at Berlin on June 11, when 
t became known that the main force, viz. six army 
, was still in Moravia, whilst only one was in Bo- 
1 : the Austrian military journal later on made the 
>llowing statement on this point : " The army though 
mpletely assembled was not strong enough numer- 
ill v for an aggressive advance, but the concentration 
had kept Prussia in uncertainty, and had thus 
bliged her to separate her forces." But as a matter 
f fact, all doubts about the possible movements of the 
1 vanished as soon as this news was received, 
for an invasion of Prussian territory could now only 
lake place in Silesia. 
It has just been stated that the hope of the Austrian 
about the co-operation of the Bavarians had 
1 disappointed by their refusal to come to Bohemia ; 



the Saxons also would have liked a junction with the 
Bavarians for the defence of their own email country, 
which now they had to give up without striking a blow 
for it, to go and fight as auxiliary troops in Bohemia, a 
lamentable position for a brave army fond and proud of 
their own country. 

As the only line of advance into Silesia 

Positions possible for the Austrians now lay in the 
for direction of Neisse, a position taken up 

NecMstry behind the river of that name would defend 
the whole of Silesia, as they could not ad- 
vance on Breslau by going round this position without 
giving up their communications. The position was good, 
as its left rested on the fortress Neisse, and if the Aus- 
trians tried to attack the right, they would have the 
fortress (Jlatz and the mountain chain on the frontier 
behind them. The Crown Prince Frederick, opposed 
as he was to the main strength of the Austrian army, 
fully appreciated his danger, and selected the positioi 
behind the Neisse, which he thought strong enough t 
enable him to oppose the force of an attack even by ovi 
whelming numbers. He therefore asked for and i 
ceived permission to occupy that position, but as I 
two army corps might be attacked by five or even six, 
his army was strengthened by the 1st Army Corps, 
which at Hirschberg and Warmbruiin hud to w;i(< h llu> 
roads leading across the mountains from Fricdland, 
Reichenbach and Trautenau. The Guards Corps was 
now also allotted to the 2nd Army and was to occupy 
the left flank of the new position. But at that time it 
was still in Berlin, and the 1st Reserve Army Corps was 
then only forming in the neighbourhood of that capital. 


is his 

n six, 


Thus the army was not yet by any means complete, and 
all its operative dispositions were only pointing to a 
purely defensive protection of their own country, cer- 
tainly not to offensive operations. 

We have noted already that about June 10 the Aus- 
trian North Army had arrived nearly complete in 
Moravia near Olmiitz and Briinn, and might have been 
assembled — with but little altered arrangements— j list 
as well in Bohemia for the offensive against the Prussian 
army, then still engaged, as we have seen, in moving to 
places of assembly and new positions. The Austrians 
then enjoyed a further advantage inasmuch as their 
forces were all close together, whereas the different 
component parts of the Prussian army could then 
scarcely support each other under the difficulties pre- 
sented by the geographical features of the country. 
IV Prussians therefore were not ready before the 
Austrians, but unfortunately the latter had assumed 
the certainty of being forestalled so strongly, that the 
opinion prevailed amongst their generals that their 
army could only be safely assembled in a fortified camp 
many marches distant from the frontier. This first 
assembly of the Austrian army was a mistake produc- 
tive of the most serious consequences, which they 
could only have mended, if they had boldly crossed the 
frontier against the army of the Crown Prince, as soon 
as the details of its disposition became known to them. 

tlew In consequence of the resolution to have 

P on boos the position behind the Neisso occupied by 

""^ the Silesian army, the following movements 
had to be made :— 

The 6tb Corps to Steinau via Reichenhach, Frauken- 


stein and Ottmachau ; the oth Corps to Grottkau via 

: Schweidnitz and Lauterbach ; the 1st Corps to Munster- 
berg via Kupperberg, Schweidnitz and Nimptsch ; the 

■ Cavalry Corps moved to Strehlen via Melkau. A detach- 
ment of the 1st Corps of six battalions, four batteries 
and two cavalry regiments was left at Waldenburg to 
watch the passes between Landshut and Charlotten- 
brimn. All these movements were completed by June 18, 
by which day the greatest part of the Guards also had 
arrived at Brieg, and all preparations were made for a 
rapid concentration, if it should suddenly become 


The following movements were made in the 
Army : the 3rd Corps marched into the district LSwen 
berg, Fricdeberg ; the 4th Corps to Lauban and Grejffen- 
berg ; the 2nd Corps took up quarters between Reiehen- 
bach.GorlitzandSeidenberg ; the Cavalry Corps on both 
banks of the Bober about Lowenberg ; the roads across 
the mountains via Ldbau, Zittan, Friedland and Reichen- 

berg were occupied, and a separate detachment 
pushed forward to Waimbrunn. These moves also 
were finished by June 18. 

The Army of the Elbe of course had not been able to 
move on account of Saxony blocking its nearer approach 
to Bohemia. Now, if the Saxon corps should retire into 
Bohemia to join the Austrian army, the Army of the 
Elbe could follow them, but if the I Austrian Corps, 
now near the Saxon frontier, shonld join the Saxon 
troops and together with them occupy one of the many 
naturally strong positions near Dresden, their united 
strength of about fifty battalions, with ten cavalry 
regiments and twenty-four batteries, would paralyse the 


Army of the Elbe ; therefore, to provide for this case, 
orders were given for the new reserve corps forming near 
Berlin to be moved towards Torgau without delay : 
this move would raise the strength of the Prussian 
forces on the Elbe to sixty-two battalions with nine 
cavalry regiments and forty-four batteries. 

Thus the whole Prussian army was posted in three 
groups near Torgau, Gflrlitz and Neisse respectively, 
which places were 93 and 115 miles distant from each 
other. The forward march into Saxony therefore now 
became a necessity, not only from political causes, but 
also because it made possible the strategical deployment, 
that is in this case the co-operation of the 1st Army and 
the Army of the Elbe on the line Bautzen -Dresden in 
hut few marches, by numerous and converging roads. 
After that junction had been effected, there were only 
two armies to be manoeuvred, so that they could co- 
operate for the final decision, a task not easy but capable 
of accomplishment. 

B. Movements in Hanover and Hesse-Kassei. 
It has been stated at the end of the first chapter that 
the war actually began with the march of Prussian 
troops into Hanover, Hesse-Cassel and Saxony on 
June 16, and it seems advisable to narrate in short out- 
lines the minor preliminary events in the north-west of 
Germany, before beginning the detailed account of our 
main subject, the Campaign in Bohemia. 

General Vogel von Falkenstein had been 

ci'h^w appointed to the command of the small Army 

of the West, which consisted of the divisions 

Beyer, Goben and Manteulel, with orders not only to 


bring about the surrender or the destruction of the 
Hanoverian army. 

The division Goben occupied the town of Hanover 
on June 17, after the Hanoverian army — 12,800 men 
with 18 guns— had already withdrawn to Gottingen 
on its march towards the south to join the Bavarian 
j ££"v< troops who were expected to have advanced to Meinin- 
gen : they had destroyed the railway behind them. 
The division Manteufel left Holstein on the 16th, 
wt H*-.L~f mg the Elbe at Harburg, and then marched on Hanover. 

»The division Goben could have reached Gottingen 
complete by the 20th, but their advance was slow. On 
the 21st the Hanoverian corps started from Gottingen 
£- j trK% * OT Eisenach via Miihlhausen, but instead of hurrying on 
across the railway line to Erfurt, the Staff wasted time 
with requests for help being sent to the VHIth Bundes- 
corps at Frankfurt and to Prince Karl of Bavaria, 
the Commander-in-Chief of the Bavarian forces. 

On the 22nd General Eatkenstein and the diviuii 
? Goben arrived at Gottingen, the division Manteufel 
'at Nordheim and Norten. Goben should have been 
ordered to send at once all his artillery and cavalry after 
the Hanoverians to retard their march, and then to 
hurry forward his infantry to attack them wherever thi 
were met with : their strength, condition and positioi 
were known. At the same time General Falkenstein 
ought to have wired orders to General Beyer to leave 
one battalion at Kassel and march with the remainder 
of the division via Fulda to Hanau and Frankfurt, 
Manteufel, on the other hand, should have been ordered 
to hurry to Mulhhausen as quickly as possible, so as to 















support Gotten if needed, and to join him to encounter 
the Bavarians at Meiningen. 

Fulkeiistein, thinking that the Hanoverian corps 
could not be stopped, prevaricated and attempted to 
make for the second part of his task, viz. the occupation 
of Frankfurt, which lie had been ordered to carry out 
after dealing with the Hauoverian force. Much 
valuable time was lost in exchange of telegrams with 
the Headquarters Staff at Berlin, and Falkenstein disre- 
garded or misconstrued several instructions sent by 
Moltke ; but on the 24th, in obedience to the King's 
emphatic orders, he at last sent General Fliess with 
six battalions and one battery to Gotha, and General 
Goben with six battalions, two squadrons and two 
batteries from Kassel by rail to Eisenach, so that 11,000 
men were assembled there by the morning of the 25th. 
whilst in the meantime Bavarian cavalry had reached 

After a confused succession of negotiations 
and misunderstandings the Hauoverian 
Staff decided to retire on the 27th beliind the river 
Unstrut at Merxleben, and General Fliess advanced"* 1 ' ""■ 
with about 9,000 men to Langensalza, where he thought* * •( ty 
he had to deal with only the rearguard making a stand 
to appose him : a serious fight ensued, which ended with 
!( of the Prussian force, after they had lost 
■It officers and 772 men kilted and wounded ; the Hano- 
verians, with about 16,000 men in action, had lost 102 
officers and 1,327 men. During the following night 
General Fliess was asked by the Hanoverian Staff to 
grant an armistice on the condition of free departure 
ul their forces to the south in return for a promise not 

to fight against Prussia for two months. This request 
was refused, and on the next morning General Fliess 
was already reinforced by seven battalions and two 
batteries from Eisenach ; in the afternoon eleven ad- 
ditional battalions and four batteries were advanci 
on Langensalza, and by the evening the Hanoverian 
army was already surrounded by nearly 40,01)0 men. 

In consequence the King of Hanover, to 
of the avoid further useless fighting, consented to 
Hanover- capitulate. The King of Prussia allowed 

special honourable conditions in appreciation 
of the brave resistance shown in the battle, and in order 
to remove the possibility of a future bitter remembrance 
of dishonourable treatment ; as a matter of fact, 456 out 
of a total of 751 officers entered the Prussian service 
and were received with the utmost cordiality and hearti- 
ness. The troops were sent to Celle and Hildesheim 
on June 30 and July 1 : then they were dismissed to 
their homes. 

When General Falkenstein, on his arrival 

at Hanover, learnt that the Hanoverian 
army was already at Gottingen, he ought to have 
followed them with the utmost energy, without giving 
his troops any rest : he ought to have repaired the 
strategical contretemps by a tactical coup de force 
he ought to have sacrificed the last man and have 
attacked, beaten, scattered and pursued the enemy at 
all costs, an enemy — above all — who retreated from 
their own country unwilling to leave it. with hesitating 
step. He had received orders to render the Hanoverians 
and Hessians harmless by attack or by capture, there- 
fore it was his duty to carry out these orders rapidly. 





even if a junction with the Bavarians had been already 
effected, and it was utterly incorrect and inexcusable to 
Hi'si'.t from iiinl neglect this primary obligation, because 
he thought he could not. overtake the fugitives. Self- 
willing and self-opinionated, he answered Molt Ice's sug- 
gestions by rude, evasive assertions, and hardly obeyed 
the King's direct orders. 

In the meantime the electorate (Kurfiir- 
crfKuseT * ten * UB ») Hesse had also been occupied. 
General Beyer, who was quartered about 
Wetzlar with his division of 19,000 men, had been 
directed to prevent the assembly of troops in the princi- 
pality and, in case this had already been effected, to 
attack, disarm and disperse them, before they could effect 
a junction with other hostile contingents. On June 15 
he received telegraphic orders to commence the march 
on Rassel on the next day : there were at that time at 
Wiesbaden a Nassau contingent of 5,000 men, 12,000 
Hessians at Darmstadt, one Hessian regiment at Hanau, 
another at Fulda, and the other 4,000 near Kassel. J*' ff^ 
General Beyer marched on the 16th through Giessen to 
Bet too ha use n, and then on towards Fritzlar and Kassel ; s - ' 
but he would have done better, if at Giessen 
he had seized the station and the rolling stock, 
and then sent a few battalions to Kassel by rail ; with his 
main body he should have hurried to and secured Frank- 
furt, have fallen upon the regiment at Hanau, and con- 
tains! the Nassau and Darmstadt troops. One brigade 
advancing from Hanau via Fulda would have sufficed 
to make Hesse-Kassel acknowledge and accept the 
Prussian command, whibt eleven battalions with two 
batteries could hold Frankfurt. The verbal text of his 


instructions empowered the general to act in this way* 
and he might thus have occupied Kassel already on the 
16th or 17th. If he had held Frankfurt and driven the 
Hessians smartly out of Darmstadt, the Vlllth Buncles 
Corps would hardly have been formed, for Baden would 
have readily joined Prussia, and this would have marie 
Wiirtemberg hesitate and retain its contingent for home 
defence. However, General Beyer reached Kassel on 
the 19th and was then placed under the orders of 
General Falkenstein, so that he got implicated in the 
general confusion, which lasted till the capitulation r.f 
the Hanoverian army. 

C. Positions and Movements on Both Sides 
on the Bohemian Frontier 

The Amtrians were in Bohemia and 
Moravia 947,000 men strong, of whom the 
I Army Corps, reinfnrrnl up to 30,1100, was concentrated 
at Jung Bunzlau, and was to be joined by the Saxon 
corps of about 24,000 men. The other Austrian corps 
were in Moravia, the II at Wildenschwerdt aim" Zittau, 
the IV at Troppau, Teschen and Sternberg, the VI in 
and round Olmiitz, the III in and around Briinn, the 
X in Briinn and Meseritsch, the VIII farthest back 
near Auspitz and Austerlitz. 

The Prussians were along the frontier 254,000 strong : 
the 1st Army, consisting of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Army 
Corps and one cavalry corps, around Gflrlitz with 93,000 
men ; the Army of the Elbe, composed of the 8th Army 
Corps and the 14th Division, 46,000 strong, near Torgau ; 
the 2nd Army, containing the Guards, the 1st, 5th and 



6th Army Corps with one cavalry division, on the Neiase 
between Brieg and Patschkau, with a total of 115,000 

On the morning of June 16 the Army of 
of C Drtsden tne ^" )e crosaed tlie Saxon frontier and 
reached Dresden on the 18th ; two days later 
a division of landwehr of the Guards arrived there with 
orders to remain in Saxony. The Saxon army had left 
Dresden for Bohemia on the 17th, and was to take up 
quarters about Chlumetz. 

The " ® a tne ^ tu Geueral-in-Chief Benedek 

Aus(rians received information from Vienna that the 
bulk of the Prussian army was still on the 
Elbe ; in consequence he determined to march off into 
Bohemia to take up the position Josephstadt-Miletin, 
and this movement was to be covered on the right flank 
against the fortress Glatz by the II Light Cavalry 
Division. The information, if accepted as true, ought to 
have determined him to march into Silesia ; for, if it 
was correct, it was possible for him to reach the neigh- 
bourhood of Schweidnitz before the enemy's main forces, 
and to attack them with concentrated strength. 

The X Army Corps with one cavalry division was 
to march on the right of the first line, the III Corps in 
the centre, another cavalry division on the left. In the 
second line were the VI Corps from Olmiitz on the 
rigfif , t ho VI If Corps in the centre, and the II Corps with 
the army artillery reserve on the left : one brigade of this 
corps with a regiment of lancers was left at Wildensch- 
werdt for the protection of the railway ; the IV Corps 
and the HI Cavalry Division followed in the third line : 
it was hardly possible from the start., that the intended 

rendezvous of the whole army on the Upper Elbe could 
be reached before July 2. 

On June 21 General Clara Gallas, commanding the 
I Army Corps, who had posted the Saxon troops in 
the neighbourhood of Chlumetz-Pardubitz, received 
from the Commander-in-Chief the order to keep both 
corps in position at Jung Bunzlau and not to concentrate 
to the rear, which makes it appear that Benedek still 
hoped to get to the river Iser before Prince Frederick 
Charles. But on the 20th he had learnt that four 
Prussian army corps and one cavalry division were c 
the Neisse, and that some of these troops were on the 
move against the nearest passes in the giant mountains 
The (Ricscngebirge) leading into Bohemia. 
Prussians a matter of fact, orders had been sent from 
Advance Berlin directly after the occupation of Saxony 
that the different armies were to concentrate on the 
Bohemian frontier, and that the declaration of war was 
to be handed to the Austrian outposts on crossing the 
frontier. On June 22 the additional order was received 
that the ultimate junction of the armies was to be effected 
at or near Gitschin (Jicin), but that the 6th Corps was 
to remain near Neisse until further orders. On the 
23rd the main bodies of the 1st Army and the Army of 
the Elbe crossed the frontier, but the corps composing 
the 2nd Army were still a few marches distant from it. 
It was then known at the Headquarters of the General 
Staff that the Austrian army was also on the march 
towards the same locality ; if they managed to arrive 
in great strength at the passes out ol which the troops 
of the Crown Prince had to debouch, his success was 
certainly doubtful. The 6th Corps left behind at Neisse 



had orders to make feint movements via Neugtadt and E </.***>** 

Ziegenhals, but was on the 24th directed to march into 

the district of Qlatz to take up a position fronting south, 

so as to secure the rear and the flank of the 2nd Army : 

a rumour had spread that the Austrians intended to 

break through in that direction. On the 25th the 1st 

Army Corps reached Libau on the road to Trautenau, 

the Guards were at Neurode and Wunschelberg, thesis tf**- 

5th Corps at Glatz, all ready for the great movement 

into Bohemia. 

This juncture appears to us as the proper time to 
insert a short chapter dealing with the discussions on 
the various points on which Moltke's plan of campaign 
has been criticised, attacked and condemned by various 
writers, French, Austrians and Germans. 



Comments on the Prussian Plan op Campaign 

To obtain a solid starting point for criticism, we 
ought to take into first consideration the fact that, by 
the initial arrangements and preliminary disposition of 
troops, Brandenburg and Silesia had to be covered, and 
that any crossing of the frontier by the enemy had to 
be prevented, as this was an absolute necessity from the 
political and therefore also from the military point of 
view, not only with reference to Austria, but also with 
regard to Saxony and the other hostile or uncertain 
German states. But these considerations were well 
known and appreciated at the time. The armies which 
had to advance separately from Silesia and Lusatia, 
were in the beginning certainly not in a very favourable 
condition to give mutual support to each other, but near 
the Elbe or on the Iser each of them might, in case of 
hike the risk of being attacked by considerably 
superior forces ; for Moltke was fully conscious of the 
advantages accruing from the possession of the needle- 
gun and of the superior fire tactics of his Prussians ; he 
could take these into full account, when important 
political considerations demanded the most determined 
military offensive. 

There were three ways in which the invasion could be 



carried out : (1) The way in which it was done ; (2) by 
advancing with the main forces through Lusatia, whilst 
Silesia was covered by only a small force ; (3) by advanc- 
ing the main armies through Sileaia whilst covering 
Lusatia by a small force. Moltke selected the first of 
the three, because it afforded the armies more freedom of 
movement, better chances of obtaining fair quarters 
and ample provisions ; the plan adopted was also 
likely to facilitate the deployment after the passage 
of the mountain passes, as troops can more easily de- 
bouch into the plain by six than by three roads, and 
certainly it was sure to shorten the time required for 
the passage through the mountains. There are also 
strategical advantages in starting armies on a broad 
front instead of bringing them up in formations of great 
depth, for the manoeuvring and co-operating are much 
facilitated by an extensive general front of advance. 
In making bis choice in favour of advancing on two 
lines, Moltke may have been influenced by these reasons 
drawn from the principles uf the science of war, and also 
by his opinion of the opposing general, who had to act 
according to them. He had to expect that his advance 
thus arranged would lead to operations on exterior tines 
against an enemy occupying the interior line, and he 
was probably well aware of the warning which Napoleon 
expressed against such operations, when he said : " To 
operate from directions wide apart, and between which 
there is no direct communication, is a fault which 
generally leads to others," It was surely also probable 
that Benedek would take advantage of his favourable 
position. Moltke's task then would be to encircle his 
opponent with all his forces and thus to throttle him, 


Benedek's task would be to prevent such a blow and to 
singly defeat the separate armies which were acting on 
tlii? principle of converging and concentrating on the 
interior line, which is the same as Napoleon's strategic 
method to " divide the army for movement and sub- 
sistence and to unite it for battle." 

Benedek failed to take the advantage offered by his 
position, but he need not be specially blamed on that 
account, and Moltke was justified by events in the 
history of war in greatly doubting the success of the 
operations from the interior line. If the guarantee of 
victory lay in the timely adoption of that line, then the 
Austrians in the Danube campaign of 1809 ought to 
have signally beaten Napoleon. Not many generals 
have known, how to use the advantages of the inner line, 
and the great emperor himself, although he professed to 
condemn the exterior lines, preferred adopting them. 
when he knew, he was the stronger. In the days of 
Leipzig he lost the campaign on the interior line, and 
in spite of all his successes in the first months of 1814 he 
could not save his cause. Acting on the interior line 
requires a leader of rare qualities; it makes, very gTeat 
demands on his readiness of decision and on the marching 
power of his troops, and has therefore also great dis- 
advantages. Above all, the general must have the 
power of making his troops move about regardless of 
fatigue and privations. Napoleon did this in 1814, and 
lie could do it, because he was monarch as well as general- 
in-chief, and his corps were then not numerous; but even 
he had failed to do so in 1813, owing to the greatly larger 
forces to be handled in that campaign and to the poor 
quality of many of his regiments. 

Moltke in 186ti ilid not foresee everything, but he 
certainly knew that Benedek was not a Napoleon, and, 
considering that the latter had succumbed in the Leipzig 
campaign when acting nn the interior line, be could hope 
that Benedek would not fare much better in the same 
position with still larger forces than Napoleon had had 
to move. In 1809 the Austrian Archduke Charles tried 
to operate on the interior line in the campaign of Ratis- 
bon, but he split up his large forces, and, in spite of the 
great advantages of a superior position up to the 17th 
and even 18th of April, he was by the 21st at the mercy 
of Napoleon, who had crushed hia isolated left wing and 
driven it out of the field, 

Benedek then was not likely to show himself more 
capable than Charles had been in the execution of this 
most difficult role of commanding armies acting on the 
interior line, and besides, he had shown at Solferino, 
under smaller conditions and within the scope of tactics, 
that he did not know what to do and how to act on the 
interior line ; otherwise he would, after defeating the 
Piedmontese, have thrown round three-fourths of his 
forces and made them play their part in the decisive 
stage of the battle. In fact, Benedek was deficient in 
the very qualities needed for such a part- — ready ( 
ception of ideas, independence of decision and initia- 

The principles of strategy should of course not be 
despised, but the preceding examples show that tactical 
considerations point more to the realities of action and 
to the manipulation of principles than to the obedience 
to mere theory. Moltke never stuck t 
ciples except one to which all others 1 

stuck timidly to prin- 
thers had to give way, 


vie. to push forward to the junction of armies, which 
he always effected at the decisive hour. 

Benedek had his forces assembled according to all the 
rules of the art of war and of its principles oe/ure the 
decisive time, but at the decisive time, June 27-30 they 
were scattered and out of hand. 

To have drawn together in Silesia the bulk of the 
Prussian forces, after the Austrian line of operation 
had become known, would have taken very much time 
with the railway system such as it was then, and it would 
have been the worst step which Moltke could have taken ; 
for during that time the Austrians would have had the 
finest opportunity for threatening Berlin, for which 
purpose the Saxon army corps was standing ready, 
like an advanced guard, at a distance of only six days' 
march. The hostility of Saxony and the proximity of 
her forces demanded from the out9et the direct protection 
of Berlin in that direction, for the possibility of their 
reinforcement by Bavarian troops could not be excluded. 
This fear for the safety of the Prussian capital of course 
vanished as soon as the evacuation of Saxony by her 
troops became known at the Prussian Headquarters, but 
this was not before the middle of June. If at that time 
the assembly of the bulk of the forces in Silesia combined 
with a secondary force in Saxony and Lusatia had been 
decided upon (or vice versa), the translocation of troops 
necessitated thereby would — with the railway system of 
Hint period — have taken eight to ten days, a loss of time 
which was of great consi deration, as there was the fear 
of having to meet at any point the united Austro-Saxon 
army, who, in the salient angle between Saxony and 
Silesia, had everywhere shorter roads and better con- 


ditions for operations. If Moltke's plan was adhered to, 
the two Prussian armies would within those eight or ten 
days most probably be on Bohemian soil, and ready to 
seek a decision, and this did happen almost within that 

Prussia had known very early that Austria was 
arming, but at the time when Moltke fixed on the plan 
of operations he did not know where Austria would 
assemble her main army. The circumstance that 
Prussia from political reasons had first to wait for the 
voteofthe " Bund " — i.e. June 15 — was for Austria and 
her allies of advantage : by that date the Austrian forces 
were already assembled at Olmiitz. Without taking 
into consideration these political combinations and the 
actual geographical configuration of the hostile states, 
nobody can understand and judge Moltke's dispositions 
From these reasons the Prussians had to take into 
consideration the following three points : (1). The Aus- 
trians might direct their main operations against Silesia 
or Lusatia ; (2) it was not impossible that the Austrians 
might anticipate a Prussian attack in both directions ; 
(3) Prussia had not only to reckon with the Saxon army 
threatening Berlin, as it were like an advanced guard, 
but also with the possibility that Bavarian rein force me nta 
could arrive by rail within twenty-four to forty-eight 
hours. Therefore the dispositions to be taken had to 
provide for the protection of Siiesia and Lusatia, which 
had to be maintained till the actual commence merit of 
hostilities : then, of course, it was too late for a change of 
positions. It may be casually mentioned that as early 
as June 10 rumours were current in the Army of the Elbe 
that Bavarian troops bad been detrained at Wurzen 


(circa twenty miles east of Leipzig). These rumours were 
repeated during the next days, and on the 16th and 17th 
reports even were brought to the vanguard, that strong 
Bavarian forces had arrived in Saxony ; in consequence 
cavalry was sent forward to get reliable information. 
Whilst the Prussians took up their assembly positions 
at Torgau, Gorlitz and Waldenburg up to June 10, they 
heard of the assembly of the Austrian North Army at 
Olmiitz, which was completed by the 14th. This arrange- 
ment could not but rouse the suspicion that Benedek 
intended an offensive movement against Breslau via 
Glatz ; but at the same time the Austrians assembled 
also considerable forces in the very north of Bohemia. 
Originally Moltke had distributed his forces so that five 
army corps were to advance through Saxony from 
Lusatia, three from Silesia, whilst he kept the Guards 
Corps at his disposal to be used according to circum- 

Up to June 16 it could not be seen, whether the Aus- 
trians would turn from Olmiitz against Silesia or towards 
Lusatia, or whether they would operate in such a manner 
as to be able to turn from the interior line against both 
sides. The safest plan therefore for the Prussians was 
to take the offensive at once to make the enemy's choice 
more difficult, and thus they started operations on that 
day ; the Austrians likewise on the next day marched off 
from Otmiitz in three columns — not towards Silesia, 
but to the north of Bohemia. As the Prussians had no 
reliable news as to this movement, the safest plan for 
them in their uncertainty was to paralyse it by an 
energetic offensive. However, it was possible that the 
2nd Army in Silesia would have to meet the first shock, 


and therefore the Guards Corps was allotted to it. 
It certainly was not advisable to remain inactive till the 
Austrians had shown their final intentions of attack, for 
a sudden and rapid interchange of main bases was not to 
be thought of on account of the deficient railway system. 
Therefore the only chance of success at this stage lay in 
the capacity of manoeuvring most rapidly and with all 
precaution as to security. The Austrian operations 
against Regenaburg in 1809 have already been mentioned, 
and Moltke had made a special study of them, so he was 
not likely to commit the same mistake as was then made 
by Archduke Charles, especially as there was neither 
spare time nor superiority of forces available. 

After the movements had once started, the main 
question was as to which of the two opponents would be 
ready first to strike with assembled forces. The Austrians 
wanted to be on the safe side on this point, and therefore 
marched in massed armies from Moravia into Bohemia 
the Prussians preferred the more comfortable way of 
advancing in separate bodies with the initial general 
direction on Gitechin. Although it was not known that 
the assembly of the Austrian forces at Ohniitz was based 
on the idea of defensive action, it could be calculated that 
even if they intended taking the offensive, the Prussians 
could be on the line of the river Iser a day or two before 
them ; for the distance from Torgau, Gorlitz and Walden- 
burg was about nine days' march, that from Olmtitz 
a march of eleven days. But if once five Prussian army 
corps were standing on the Iser before the Austrians, 
it coidd be expected that the latter would turn their 
main forces against this Prussian army which otherwise 
would threaten their left flank in any other movement. 




In the worst case the Prussians would have had to fight — 
in this strategically and tactically favourable position— 
a defensive battle, which they could well risk against 
superior numbers on account of their better firearms. 
The Austrians would have had to put at least six army 
corps against the Prussian force so as to obtain a superi- 
ority of strength, but it was certainly doubtful, whether 
then their other two corps could have repelled the 
attacks of the four corps from Silesia. One must not 
play one's hand therefore with only strategical principles, 
but strategy has to take into calculation what can be 
performed from a tactical point of view ; the considera- 
tion of the two together only can show, whether the plan 
for a campaign is correct or not. Since 1864 the Prus- 
sians were fully convinced of the superiority of their 
arms and tactics, and against such an enemy it is doubly 
dangerous to operate on interior lines; for superiority of 
numbers and of strategical leading can utterly fail 
against superior tactics. Moltke always affirmed that 
strategy accepts with thanks any success of tactics, even 
if it had not been intended or expected. 

On the day (June 23) on which the Prussian armies 
entered Bohemia the Austrians were on the line of 
Landakron ; the point to be marched on was fixed at 
Gitschin, five days' march for each of the two Prussian 
armies : the Austrians were seven days' march from it ; 
besides, as the former were marching on two lines, their 
could lie expected to be more rapid than 
those of the enemy. Although all this was not known 
beforethedrawingupofthe plan of campaign, an approx- 
imate calculation was justifiable, as it could be modified 
on the arrival of detailed information. As far as events 


could be foreseen or guessed at, the order given for the 
advance on the 22nd was therefore well-founded, and the 
operations could well be baaed on even the approximate 
certainty that from their two starting points they 
would be sooner at the goal than the enemy could reach 

Although the plan of marching into Bohemia had been 
settled upon before the 22nd, yet that day is the one of 
the great decision for the operations. As the Austrians 
till then had marched from Ira irt z to Landskron, it was 
to be assumed that their main army would not turn 
towards Glatz-Breslau nor send off large forces in that 
direction. The continuation on the line of march 
chosen would bring the Austrians first of all to the Elbe 
between Koniggriitz and Josephstadt ; what they would 
undertake then, whether they would continue the march 
towards Luaatia with flank protection against Silesia 
or vice versa, could not be made out before the 22nd. 
but the two alternatives had to be taken into considera- 
tion ; however, it was then certain that they could not 
develop superior forces against the 2nd Army (Silesian) 
by the 27th, nor against the 1st Army by the 29th. 

Iu consequence the following steps were necessary 
The 1st Army and that of the Elbe had to operate with 
energy towards the Iser in order to gain the advantage 
of time over the enemy, if they also should be marching 
for the same line ; the 2nd Army had to start at such 
time that they could have the mountains behind thei 
by the 27th, and to provide for the possibility thai 
fighting should begin in the last days of the month, botl 
armies had to be given a preliminary or temporary aim 
operations, which implied for both only the 






direction, and perhaps could later on serve as point of 
junction. The actual circumstances being well considered, 
Gitschin would seem the most appropriate point. 

The 1st Army and the Army of the Elbe could be 
joined together any day after their advance into Bohe- 
mia, as they were moving (on one line) abreast almost 
in contact of each other. 

But there were difficulties with regards to the 2nd 
Army, for it was possible that its different corps might 
be attacked separately, and the movements towards the 
necessary later co-operation with the other two armies 
could not be foreseen or prearranged. It was necessary 
to make the best assignment of the different roadB to 
the four army corps, and to time their several marches 
so that they could be in a position for mutual support. 

The most difficult point was the fixture of time for the 
start, for it depended partly on the news received about 
the enemy's march, partly on the localities reached by 
the other two armies. For if the 2nd Army crossed 
too soon, it might get into a dangerous position, in so 
far as no pressure from the other two armies would as yet 
have been felt by the Austrians ; if they crossed too late, 
the latter could unmolested move nearly their whole 
force against the 1st and the Elbe Armies. Making 
the right choice of the objective point of advance and 
fixing the right time for the start of the various units 
are looked upon as the marks of a good general : genius 
as well as carefully studied calculation are required for 
this difficult task. 

The right time for starting the march of the 2nd Army 
occurred when the 1st Army arrived near Beichenberg. 
For this calculation the positions of the most distant 


Prussian corps (5th, tith and Guards at Glatz, Riickerts 
and Neurodc) were decisive. The 1st Army was about 
Reichenberg on the evening of the 24th : in four days it 
could be well beyond Gitschin, but by that time the 2nd 
Army could stand on the Elbe. Therefore the 5th and 
the Guards Corps were ordered to start on the 26th, 
the 1st Corps at Liebau on the following day. 

The plan for the march into Bohemia of the 2nd Army 
could thus be settled in advance, but the time of actual 
execution depended on eventual later considerations. 
Accordingto the plan, the 1st Army Corps was to reach 
the Aupa at Trautenau on the 27th, the Elbe at Arnau 
on the 28th ; the 1st Division Guards was to be at Diters- 
bach on the 26th, at Eipel on the Aupa on the 27th, at 
Koniginhof on the Elbe on the 28th ; the 2nd Division 
Guards was to reach Politz on the 26th, Kosteletz on 
the 27th, Koniginhof on the 28th ; the 5th Army Corps 
at Reinerz on the 26th, at Nachod on the 27th, at Grad- 
litz on the 28th ; the 5th Corps followed by the 6th. 
If the direction towards the line Lands kron-Josephstadt 
waB followed, the 2nd Army in the execution of ita 
movements would probably meet with considerable 
hostile forces, especially the most southern column 
{5th and 6th Corps), which seemed most exposed to 
danger. Care had to be taken therefore, that the different 
corps could support each other as early aa possible 
during the operations, and the most southern column 
was made the strongest. Thus careful arrangements 
had been made for all details, but some faults were 
committed in the execution. On account of a mere 
rumour, the Commander-in-Chief of the 2nd Army 
posted the 6th Corps at Habelschwerdt on the 27th, so 

Sketch J. 

Vrojected March of the 2nd Abmt 
] 25th to the 28th June. 








I I I I I I 1 



[To fact pag$ 70 

■ I 

that it was one day's march behind at the critical time ; 
similarly, the 1st Corpslost one day's march on the 27th 
by going — unnecessarily— back to the starting point 
after the unlucky engagement at Trautenau. In conse- 
quence of these two contretemps the position of the 
2nd Army was not very enviable on the 28th, and on 
that day Benedek might have scored a considerable 
success in that direction. 

With regard to the mutual support between the 
columns on the march, this order did not refer to the 
army corps of the 2nd Army on the 26th, because on 
that day they were in three parallel valleys without 
transversal communications ; but if the enemy had 
made his appearance, he would have been in the same 
unfavourable circumstances. If no hindrance bad 
occurred, the 2nd Army would have reached the Aupa 
on the 27th after a hard day's frontal march, and the 
Elbe on the 28th after a short day's march in the same 
order. The chief danger could then have been con- 
sidered as surpassed ; the lines of march of the two 
Guards Divisions were so arranged that already on the 
27th one of them could have supported the 5th Army 
Corps over Hronow, both couldhave done so on the 28th. . 
And they were also able to lend support to the north, 
which they actually did at Trautenau. This ought to 
satisfy a critical observer, that everything possible had 
been done by the Chief Command to assure complete 
cohesion, exact co-operation and mutual support; and 
if in two instances the instructions on these three points 
were neglected, the fault cannot be ascribed to the 
Chief Command. 

Now it has been stated by critics that not only Moltke's 


original plan was faulty, but also his operations, because 
he contradicted himself and his orders of June 22 by the 
later determination to keep the armies longer separated, 
when he stated that it seemed advantageous to keep up 
even after June 30 the separation wliich at first had been 
unavoidable. The idea and the order to get all the 
forces joined at Gitschin had been based on the assump- 
tion and calculation that the decisive action might 
take place in that neighbourhood ; when the expectation 
of meeting the collected Austrian forces there bad proved 
incorrect, it was the right thing to keep the armies 
separate, and wait for the moment, when their junction 
would become necessary. Again, in originally assuming 
that Gitschin might become the point of rendezvous for 
the forces, Moltke was not very far out in his calculation, 
for the war was decided only two days' march from that 

The question has also been asked, whether it was part 
of the secret of Moltke" b strategical combinations that 
during the crisis from the 25th to the 2'Jth he and the 
General Staff were not with the army but in Berlin, so 
that the generals in command were managing matters 
according to their own fancies : for instance, one of them 
concentrated his army at Miinchengratz instead of 
pushing it forward to Gitschin, and thereby separating 
the I Austrian and the Saxon Corps from the rest of 
their forces, and endeavouring to effect a junction with 
the 2nd Army ; whilst another detached the 6th Army 
Corps into the southern part of the county of Glatz 
the mere rumour of an Austrian invasion in that direc- 
tion, thereby extending his front line to a length of fifty 



The answer to these criticisms is the following : There 
WW no factor of danger or inconvemence in the stay of 
Moltke and the General Staff at Berlin, which was in 
constant telegraphic connection with the three armies 
and not far away by rail, until the moment arrived for 
the tactical co-operation of all the forces, i.e. June 29. 
On the contrary, this procedure was very appropriate, 
because Prussia was, at the same time, carrying on 
another campaign in North -Western Germany, the 
events of which in those days had come to a critical 
point, and which was also directed by the General Staff. 
Therefore Berlin was decidedly the most convenient 
place for the King and Moltke. The " managing after 
their own fancies " on the part of generals in command 
did hardly go beyond the degree of independent action 
generally allowed to such leaders of separate armies. 
Now everybody knows that mistakes were made, but 
the defaulters were not aware of their errors at the 
time. And have not the most fatal mistakes been i 
committed on the Austrian side during those very days, 
in spite of the presence of their Headquarters t 

Another question has been asked, viz. how events 
would have been shaped, if the Prussian Staff had from 
the outset renounced the idea of concentrating the three 
armies, and if the 2nd Army had been ordered to observe 
what was going on from the position Nschod-Neustadt. 
With an effective of 115,000 men and 342 guns it 
would have been opposed to 167,000 Austrians with 
632 guns, and this disparity of numbers would have 
made a general battle unadvisable for the 2nd Army, 
unless previous engagements had furnished undoubted 
data on the relative fighting efficiency of the opposed 



forces, and given to the Prussian troopB the feeling of 
superiority. For if this has once been established on 
one side, accompanied by a feeling of incompetence or 
inferiority on the other side, this (inequality increases 
rapidly ; for as Napoleon has often maintained, moral 
impressions in war have a more decisive influence than 
mere numbers. The fact would soon have been estab- 
lished that the Austrian losses in fighting were fourfold 
those suffered by the Prussians, and that therefore the 
2nd Army was superior in fighting value to the opposing 
Austrian main force. It seems impossible that under 
these circumstances Benedek could have turned against 
the 1st Army ; he would have endeavoured to secure his 
line of retreat to Vienna, and would probably have 
directed the Crown Prince of Saxony to approach the 
Northern Army by way of KolJin and Czaslau. Evi- 
dently the 2nd Army would then have been in a position 
to endanger Benedek's retreat to Briinn, and to force 
him to make rapid marches, generally accompanied by 
confusion and disorder. If decisive engagements had 
taken place about June 26-28, the 2nd Army could 
have reached Briinn by July 3, and the 1st Army have 
gained Iglau by the same date, 

All this might have happened, and the success under 
these circumstances would have been much greater than 
that actually achieved, but the question is : Would it 
have happened ? The concentration of the three 
armies was planned and executed according to I 
rules of a correct system, and it is idle to say that rules 
are crutches good for lame people, but not made f 
those who can run. 



A. Advance of the 1st Army and the Army op the 
Elbe into Bohemia 


On June 23, when the leading columns of 
army had reached Opocno, 
Wildenschwerdt and Kunstadt, the I Corps ■ 
was assembling on the Iser, and the Saxon Corps, 
24,000 strong, arrived there on the 25th ; both had been 
advanced from their first assembly position at Jung- 

The 1st Prussian Army was marching on 
Reiehenberg, the Army of the Elbe on Rum- 
burg ; detachments of Austrian cavalry were 
retiring before them towards the Iser. On the 24th the 
Austrian advanced posts were pushed back to Turnau, 
and the Crown Prince of Saxony, who was now in com- 
mand of the two corps, received the following telegram 
from the Austrian Headquarters in the afternoon : 
" Your troops are intended to oppose the enemy advanc- 
ing from Reiehenberg or from Gabel. In this task you 
will be either supported by troops arriving successively. 
HI ymi will have lo retire on the main army, in case of 
being attacked by greatly superior forces." Oa the 
24th the 3rd and 4th Divisions of the 1st Prussian Army 



got to Kxatzau, the 5tli and 6th Divisions to Reichen- 
berg, the 7th to Gablonz, the 8th to Eibicht, the 14th 
Division (of the Elbe Army) advanced to Zwickau, the 
15th and 16th to Haida. On the 25th the 15th Division 
reached Gabel, the 16th Brims, the 14th Kunersdorf, 
and General Herwarth, in command of these divisions, 
received orders from Prince Frederick Charles, who had 
been appointed Commander-in-Chief of both armies, to 
advance to Niemes and Oschotz on the following day. 
The Prince intended the 8th Division to carry out at the 
same time an extensive reconnaissance beyond Liebenau, 
whilst the other divisions of the 1st Army were to mark 
time in order to await the moving up into line of t 
right wing. 

Herwarth in consequence ordered his advanc< 

? guard to march beyond Niemes as far as Plauschnit? 

and to push detachments forward to Hulinerwaaser a 

Hirschberg ; the 15th and lGth Divisions were to f 

as far as Niemes, the 14th was to advance on the left, t> 


Action at "^' ie advanced guard — five battalion* 

Huh n«- five squadrons and two batteries — 

was8er passing through Niemes came upon i 

Austrian cavalry patrols, who retired into the wood i 

front of Huhnerwasser. A Blight cavalry skirmish \ 

followed by a short engagement, in the course of v 

an Austrian battalion was driven out of the place a 

pursued into a wood beyond it. Herwarth ordered a 

halt, and outposts were placed towards Miinchengratz 

Weisswasser and Gablonz. In the evening there was a 

outpost engagement caused by the reconnaissance < 

an Austrian jager battalion from Munch en gratz. 

Sketch II. 

?osition8 of the divisions of the 1st army 
on the 22nd, 23rd, and 24th June. 

». V. 

PSuJLciiW^ •£ 



° -.^-rs w ..* yw 

vZiW c^ V"' -v '%*? 





5 o 

J i i * ■ ■ 1 

tO ttUVCA 

[To /oot />ay« 76. 



were driven back with some loss by superior numbers : 
the fall of night only put an end to desultory firing. 
The total loss of the Prussians during the day was 50 
killed and wounded, whilst the Austrians had 277 killed, 
wounded and missing. 

When the advanced guard of the 8th 
to Turnau Division, detailed for a reconnaissance in 

force, issued from Liebenau, they were met 
by some advanced Austrian cavalry with one battery, 
who retired on Tumau after an eventless artillery duel. 
The Prince had then already sent orders to the 7th Division 
to advance to Turnau and to occupy the important 
defile at that place, whilst the 8th was to advance to 
Preper and push forward outposts towards PodoL ? 

When the 7th Division reached Turnau. General 
Fransecky found it unoccupied, and was told that an 
Austrian cavalry division had left the place in the 
morning for Munchengratz. The bridge across the Iser, 
which was partly destroyed, was at once repaired, and 
a pontoon bridge also thrown across the river. 

In the Saxo-Austrian Headquarters a 
Orders telegram from the Commander-in-Chief had 

arrived at 2 p.m. : it contained the order 
to hold Munchengratz and Turnau at all costs. The 
Saxon Crown Prince and General Count C'lam Gallas 
came to the conclusion that the best way in which the 
object of this order couid be obtained was to occupy, on 
the next morning, a certain position north of Stchrow, 
and when the news arrived that Turnau had already 
been occupied by the Prussians, it was arranged to com- 
mence the execution of this operation that very evening 
by retaking Tumau by a surprise attack, and by occupy- 



ing the height of Swigau opposite Podol, so as to secure 
the advance to Sichrow on the morrow. 

From the circumstances narrated it can 

easily be seen that the time for the execution 
of this plan had been allowed to pass, for even in posses- 
sion of the defiles at Swigau and Sichrow, their troops 
in the farther advance would have had the 1st Army in 
front, the Elbe Army on their flank and the Iser behind 

The advanced guard of the 8th Division reached 
Preper at 6 p.m., and a reconnoitring patrol reported 
that Podol was occupied by the enemy. The order was 
given to take the place and secure the passages across 
the river. 

One company of the 4th jager Battalion 
p«Joi° too ' i * ne barricades m * ne village, another 

cleared the Swigau heights of the enemy 
and also entered the village ; the small Austrian garrison 
retired, and the riflemen, following them, crossed all 
four bridges over the Iser. Reinforced by two com- 
panies of infantry, they took up a position on the other 
side, and the engagement seemed finished. But at 9.30 
these advanced companies were attacked by troops of 
the Austrian brigade Poschacher, which had been 
detailed to occupy the heights of Swigau (which com- 
manded the passage of the Iser), and which had only 
then arrived. The Prussians were driven back across 
the bridges, and when another Austrian battalion was 
reported to advance against the village from the west, the 
officer in command decided at 11 p.m. to retire from the 
place. But the Brigadier-General Bose, who in the 
bivouac at Preper had heard the increasing rifle fire at. 10 


o'clock was now coming up with two battalions of 
infantry, and although he was told of the superior 
numbers of the Austrians, he determined to attack at 
once, considering rightly that this important passage 
had to be taken at all costs, and that, if put off, it would 
probably demand much greater sacrifice. The Austrians 
made several counter-attacks in column formation, 
which were repeatedly repulsed by volleys delivered 
four deep at thirty paces distance. When two more 
battalions arrived, they were led forward to attack the 
bridges, but at sixty paces were met by frontal and 
enfilading fire, which cheeked the advance. The briga- 
dier himself seizing a rifle led them forward to the 
attack with the bayonet, drove the Austrians across the 
chief bridge, beyond which three companies took up a 
position. By this time the Austrian General Count 
Clam had brought up details of two more brigades, and 
several attempts were made to retake the bridges, which 
had al! been lost, but in vain. The fighting ceased after 
1 o'clock in the morning. 

General Bose had correctly recognised 
Comment „ . J ° 

the full importance of the passage over the 

Iser. Its possession opened the shortest route to Git- 
schin and threatened the junction of the Saxo-Austrian 
Corps with the great army, and it was now impossible 
for Count Clam to carry out his projected offensive 
movement against Turnau. 

The material result of this engagement was as satis- 
factory as the strategical advantage gained by it, for 
the loss on the Prussian side was only 12 officers and 
118 men trilled and wounded, whilst the Austrians had 
lost 6 officers and 537 men killed and wounded, besides 
6 officer* and 504 men prisoners. 



B. Movement of the 2nd Prussian Army. 

and Prussian Whilst the Elbe Army had thus gained 
Army on the road to Miinchengratz by the- combat 
the Frontier &% Hiihnerwasser, and the 1st Army had 
taken the defile of Podol and occupied that of Turnau, 
the Bilesian Army also had taken a step farther forward 
towards the intended general junction. On the evening 
of the 26th the 1st Army Corps was at Liebau and 
Schomberg, the cavalry division at Waldenburg, the 
Guard Corps at Dittersbaeh and Pickan, the 5th Corps 
at Reinerz and Jorker, the 6th Corps at Glatz, and the 
Headquarters of the Crown Prince at Braunau. Thus 
the Guards were in the centre between the two points 
where the 1st and the 5th Corps had to cross the moun- 
tains on the frontier, and fourteen miles distant from 
each of them, and could therefore support either of 
them when debouching on Austrian territory. 

During the day some small cavalry skirmishes had 
taken place, and Nachod had been occupied by two 
battalions of the advanced brigade of the 5th Corps, 
after the small Austrian detachment holding the town 
had retired from the place on being shelled. The 
various Austrian advanced cavalry detachments re- 
ported correctly to Josephstadt early in the afternoon 
that the Prussian army was advancing in three widely 
separated columns. 

To oppose their deployment and advance 

Comment on Austrian soil three corps could be used 

Austrian a ^ ouce on ^ e 27th, viz. the VI, X and 

Dispositions IV, and could be reinforced by the evening 

by the III and VIII Corps. But the Chief of 



the Staff had already, on the start of the march from 
Moravia, made it Ins Axed object to lead the army 
into a position on the right bank of the Elbe between 
Josephstadt and Kt'Jniginiiof, with a flank covering line 
Horitz- Mile tin, to accept battle there, just as Daun 
would have done 100 years before. The march into 
Bohemia was not part of a well-considered, obstinate 
defensive, nor of a bold, self-confident offensive, which 
would point the way into the enemy's, country, but it 
was a middle course, which leads but too often to an 

Benedek had indeed replied to the imperial order of 
the 1'ith to begin operations with the assurance that he 
would direct the army to Josephstadt, to offer battle 
in that neighbourhood, or, under favourable circum- 
stances, to take the offensive, and, in case the hoped- 
for junction with the Saxons and Bavarians should have 
been affected, to do this for certain in order to find and 
fight (lie main army of the enemy. Up to that moment 
the Chief of the Staff wanted to adhere to his precon- 
ceived idea of assembling the army in the position 
Jaromir-Miletin, and to see its salvation in the agony 
of passive expectancy. Merely to cover this strategical 
junction, the X Corps was to advance to Trau- 
tenaii. the VI from Opocno to Skalitz : ail available 
forces ought to have been rapidly assembled and pushed 
forward to drive back the invading enemy. The 
txaaequetux of these half measures was a series of un- 
successful, unfortunate actions. 

Not till 8 p.m. on the 2'ith the following orders were 
issued by the Austrian Staff : — 

" The VI Corps will march at 3 a.m. from Opocno 


to Skalitz, where a position is to be taken up ; an ad- 
vanced guard is to be pushed forward towards Nachod. 

" The X Corps is to march at 8 a.m. to Trautenau 
where it takes up a position provisionally. After the 
.^uj] troops have passed Kaile, the brigade posted there is 
to be drawn in. This disposition lias the object to cover 
the not yet completed assembly of the army at Joseph- 
ntadt, which, however, is not to exclude an energetic 
attack on the enemy, if the opportunity occurs. A 
pursuit, however, must be kept within the limits of this 
chief object. I expect early reports on the strength 
of the forces opposed to the VI and the X Corps." 

Evidently the strategical assembly was considered to 
be the chief point, the enemy and his doings were deemed 
of secondary importance. 

It was known to the Staff that Nachod had been 
occupied by the enemy in the afternoon ; the order to 
the VI Corps should therefore have run : " The enemy 
have occupied Nachod, the VI are to find out their 
strength." This would have given General Ramming 
complete liberty of action in attaining his object. 

The VIII Corps, assembled near Kfiniggratz, also re- 
j ceived orders to march via .Tisephstadt into the bivouacs 
abandoned by the X Corps about Schurz. but when 
already on the march next morning, this corps was 
stopped by the counter order to proceed via Jaromir to 
. Czaslawek and Dolan, and to encamp there with the 
eventual destination of supporting the VT Corps. 

Furthermore the IV Corps, which had already reached 
Lanzow after crossing the Elbe, was directed back to 
Jaromir, whilst the Illrd Corps continued the march 
from Koniggratz towards Miletin, 

Positions of the Units of the Opposing Armies 
on the Evening of the 20th June. 


Sketch 1 


Sen. <f 



■ 3Xli 





[To face paQt 

— ; - ^v 


. I 


"% * 

*»V At* -J C • 




In the 2nd Prussian Army the dis- 
thc 2nd positions for the 27th were as follows : 
The 1st Corps was to advance to Trautenau 
and, if possible, push its advanced guard 
forward to Arnau, the main body of the 5th Corps was to 
march on Nachod. The two divisions of the Guard 
Corps were to advance so that each of them could act as 
reserve to one of the other two corps. 

No objection can be raised against these dispositions 
for the following day, but it seems difficult to explain 
why no rCile was assigned to the cavalry of the Guard. 
These regiments should have been pushed forward 
beyond Eipel to Studenz and Raatseh to observe the 1 '-?* 
roads leading northward from Josephstadt. Altogether 
the Prussian cavalry was not made full use of, at least 
not in the beginiung of the campaign. 

The general object and guiding aim of these disposi- 
tions seems to have been to advance with three corps 
by way of Arnau, in order to effect a junction with the 
lat Army, and to leave the 6th Corps in Glatz for the 
protection of that county The theoretical idea of the 
converging movement from exterior lines of operation 
put all other considerations in the background, and 
obscured the chances of attaining more far-reaching 
results by other methods ; for the 1st Army could 
evidently be supported much more quickly if the whole 
2nd Army occupied a position west of Josephstadt, 
and thereby interrupted the Austrian line of retreat to 

tC. Events on June 27 
i of the 1st Prussian Army and of the 

Elbe Army did not meet the enemy on that day ; the 
5th Division of the 1st Army was moved from Gablonz 
to Eisenbrod ; the Oth Division closed up to near the 7tt 
and 8th, which remained on the Iser between Podol a 
Turnau; the 2nd Army Corps got near Liebcnau. 
advanced guard of the Elbe Army remained at Hiihner 
wasser, its three divisions came up as far as Bohmisch 

According to reports received at the headquarters 
of the 1st Army, Miinchengratz was still occupied by 
one Austrian brigade, the Saxon Army Corps and a 
cavalry division ; it had been observed that entrenching 
was being done, which seemed to indicate that General 
Count Clam intended to hold the place and to await 
reinforcements, but in the course of the day he decided 
to retreat on the morrow. 

The 1st Prussian Army Corps, under 
TwuteMu General B°nin. started for Trautenau at 
4 a.m., one division from Liehau, the other 
from Schonberg, whilst a separate detachment marched 
on the right flank via Schatzlar to Obex Altstadt, north- 
west of Trautenau. The two divisions had orders to 
join at Prauschnitz and there to rest for two hours, 
under protection of the advanced guard, which was to 
occupy Trautenau. 

The left column arrived at Prauschnitz at 8 a.m., but 
the march of the right column had been so much delayed 
that the head of the advanced guard furnished by that 
column did not appear near the town till 10 a.m., and 
the cavalry of the vanguard found the bridge over the 
Aupa barricaded and occupied by dismounted cavalry, 
who, however, retired on the approach of infantry. 

They retreated through the town, which was then occu- 
pied by the Prussians. But at that juncture the Aus- 
trian brigade Mondl arrived on the heights of the 
Galgenberg and Hopfenberg, which rise with steep 
slopes south and east of the town high above the banks 
of the river Aupa. Two battalions of the advanced 
guard deployed to attack this position, but, though 
supported by some companies of the flank detachment 
and the enfilading fire of two batteries, they made no 
progress. At 11.30 General Benin detailed five battalions 
and one battery under General Buddenbrock to advance 
in the direction of Hohenbruck-Alt Rognitz, to attack 
the flank of the enemy's position. At the same time 
he sent urgent orders to the battalions of the advanced 
guard to press the attack on the heights to the utmost. 
As the plateau is only accessible by deep valleys with 
steep sides, the advance of Buddenbrock's battalions 
was extremely difficult, and so slow that the heights 
were taken by the renewed efforts of the reinforced 
advanced guard before the outflanking force arrived. 
At 1 p.m. they began to emerge from the ravines, and 
to attack the flank of the retreating Austrians, but only 
three and a half battalions continued the frontal attack, 
as the other three and a half battalions were withdrawn to 
Trautenau, evidently under the impression that the 
crisis had passed. By 3 p.m. the Prussian battalions 
occupied the position Hohenbruck-Alt Rogm'tz, whilst 
the brigade Mondl, by order of General Gablenz, com- 
manding the X Army Corps, was falling back to 
position at New Rognitz, where they were to await re 

At 1 p.m. the 1st Guard Infantry Division had arrived 


— **■ at Parschnitz on their march to Eipel, but their assist- 
ance was declined by General Bonin, as he thought the 
fight was progressing well, and he had only one brigade 
opposed to him. A3 the fire ceased about 3 o'clock the 
battle seemed over, and the Guard Division continued 
their march. 

But at 3.30, when the remaining three and a half 
battalions of the frontal attack had all been recalled to 
Trautenau by a signal given by mistake, Buddenbrock's 
battalions were attacked on the left by the newly arrived 
brigade Grivicic, and in front by the brigade Mondl ; 
after a vigorous resistance they began to retreat at about 
4 p.m., when they were in danger of being quite out- 
flanked. The advance of the enemy was temporarily 
checked by four battalions, who came up into a line 
stretching from the heights south-east of the Kapelie 
to the edge of the wood north-east of Kriblitz. But 
the enemy was now reinforced by the brigade Wimpfen, 
and forty guns opened fire on these heights and the town, 
from which the troops were withdrawn towards Parsch- 
nitz at 4.30. For some time two battalions of the 43rd 
Regiment repulsed all attacks of the brigade Wimpfen, 
but when at 6.30 another Austrian brigade, that of 
Knebel, joined in the attack from Ait Rognitz, a retreat 
on Parschnitz was commenced and covered by two 
battalions, whose determined attitude prevented the 
Austrian* from issuing from the town till 9 p.m., when 
they followed the general retreat. The Austrians made 
no attempt at pursuit, for three companies of the 41st 
and 43rd Regiments remained quite unmolested at the 
eastern end of Prauschnitz till 3.30 next morning 
And yet the retreat of the whole army corps was 


continued through the night, till the troops, utterly 
exhausted, reached the places of bivouac on the northern 
side of the mountains twenty-four hours after they had 
left them. 

It seems hopeless to try to find any excuse for such 
senseless proceedings, which worthily crowned the 
follies committed during the battle. 

The army corps suffered all day long 
from the initial mistake of not occupying 
the heights commanding the town, and the outlets of the 
two defiles directly after the arrival of the left column. 
Opposed for hours by only one brigade, the army corps 
profited in no way by its great numerical superiority. 
Whilst the greater portion of the corps remained inac- 
tive north of the Aupa, the actual fighting was carried on 
by single disconnected battalions detached from different 
brigades without any central control ; they were indeed 
reinforced at times, but by driblets and in a fitful fashion. 
The infantry fought most obstinately, but almost 
without any support from the other arms, for the greatest 
part of the artillery remained in their initial positions, 
from which their fire could not reach the actual field of 
action. Out of twenty-five battalions only nine were 

k seriously engaged, as can be proved by the list of losses. 
The withdrawal of units from the fighting line merely 
on the ground of a temporary cessation of fire was 
naturally followed by the most serious consequences, 
and seems quite inexcusable, not to speak of the fact that 
a bugle signal sounded by mistake caused three and a half 
battalions to retire from the firing line at a time, when 
their presence could not be spared. Evidently no 
serious attempt was made to restore the battle, when the 


Austrians were enabled by their reinforcements to take 
the offensive, and the various units seem to have com- 
menced and continued the retreat without any orders 
or attempts to stop them. And yet the retreat was 
carried on with the knowledge and almost under the 
eyes of the General, who, during the greatest part of the 
day, had been two and a half miles from the ground 
where the turn of fortune took place. If at least the 
two denies had been kept guarded during the night by a 
position taken up on the heights between Nieder-Alt- 
stadt and Welhota, the General could have waited there 
without danger for the advance of the Guard Corps to 
disengage him, or could have repeated the attack in the 
morning. Neither the defeat nor the retreat were 
reported to the Crown Prince, who had only received 
news of a victory gained by 1 o'clock. 

The Austrians in a force of 28 battalions and 72 guns 
lost 183 officers, 4,231 men killed and wounded, 8 
officers and 365 men prisoners ; the Prussians, 25 
battalions strong with 96 guns, lost 56 officers and 1,196 
men killed and wounded, 86 men missing. 

It has been already mentioned that 

Nachod General Ramming, commanding the VI 
Austrian Army Corps, received at Opocno the 
order to advance to Skalitz on the 27th and to push one 
brigade forward to Nachod. This order, issued at 
Josephstadt at 8 p.m., did not reach Ramming till 
1.30 a.m., although the distance between the two places 
is only about nine miles : a clear proof that the proceed- 
ings of the Austrian Staff were\not very business-like, 
and not calculated to deal with critical situations where 
rapidity of execution is of the utmost importance 


The faultiness of the order itself has already beeD pointed 

Ramming had 28,000 infantry, 4,000 cavalry and 88 
guns ; General Stcininetz, commanding the 5th Prus- 
sian Corps, 22,000 infantry, 2,000 cavalry and '."J 

At 2.15 a.m. Ramming issued orders that the brigade 
Hertweck was to march on Wyaokow, the brigade Jonak 
via Wrchowin to Kleny, the brigade Rosenzweig to 
Skalitz, and the brigade Waldstadter to the same place 
by a different road. 

The brigades were late in starting. Ramming rode 
at 5 a.m. from Opocno to Skalitz, then to Kleny, where 
he was informed that the 1st Reserve Cavalry Division 
had had to give up Wysokow ; at 8.30 he gave orders 
that the brigades Rosenzweig and Jonak, the cavalry 
division and the artillery reserve, should be drawn up 
at Kleny. 

Hertweck ought to have marched to Wysokow on the 
ridge of hills, but in the intention not to be separated 
from the main body of the army corps he took the 
direction towards Kleny, so that his brigade, at 7.30, 
arrived at Sonow, where they found detachments of the 
Prussian advanced guard, which consisted of five and a 
half battalions under General Lowenfeldt. Hertweck 
deployed his advanced troops near the church at Wen- 
zelsberg, and formed up his brigade astride the road. 
After keeping up a useless musketry fire for nearly an 
hour, the heights held by the enemy were attacked, but 
without success ; the brigade had to fall back across the 
road to Sonow. 

Hertweck had requested Jonak, who had arrived at 


Domkow, to come to his assistance. His brigade came 
into the fighting line north of Sonow at 9.30, then the 
brigade Rosenzweig prolonged the left wing east of 
Promodow, and the brigade Waldstadter also received 
later on the order to attack Wysokow. The artillery 
reserve, i.e. the corps artillery, which ought to have 
prepared the general attack, did not arrive at Skalitz 
till 11 a.m., together with a cavalry brigade. 

The Prussian battalions had been driven back behind 
the road to Neuatadt, and they maintained with diffi- 
culty the uneven fight against twenty-one Austrian 
battalions, whilst only two batteries kept up their fire 
against thirty-two guns till 12 o'clock. At that time the 
position of the Prussians became very critical, but 
momentary relief was afforded by a successful charge of 
a cavalry brigade on the right flank : they not only drove 
the cavalry brigade Solms on the Austrian left back to 
Kleny, but also broke several rallying squares of the 
infantry on the left flank. 

Then, soon after 12 o'clock, the leading battalions of 
the 10th Prussian Division arrived on the battlefield, 
and attacked first the left wing of the brigade Rosenzweig. 
An attack of the brigade Waldstadter at 2 p.m. was 
repulsed, and the whole Austrian force was now steadily 
driven back, as more Prussian battalions were gradually 
joining the advance. At 3 p.m. General Ramming 
gave the order for the retreat to Skalitz, which was 
covered by a cavalry brigade of the reserve and part of 
the corps artillery. The Austrians had lost 227 officers 
and 3,419 men killed and wounded, 5 officers and 2,008 
men prisoners, also 8 guns and 2 colours. The Prussians 
had lost (32 officers and 1,046 men killed and wounded, 




14 men missing : the cavalry charge accounted for 20 
out of the 62 officers. 

The retreating enemy was not pressed 
hy the Prussian troops, who went into 
bivouac on the battlefield. This step seems to be open 
to criticism, for five out of the eight regiments engaged 
(3,000 each) had only lost about 100 officers and men 
each. Strategy demanded that Hamming's corps should 
have been destroyed or scattered and that Skalitz 
should have been occupied, which should then have 
caused the Grown Prince to draw together the Guard 
Corps complete at Eipel and Kaile before the end of 
the day. By these two moves the two corps would 
have been approached to a distance of only eight miles, 
and would thus have formed a strong central body 
in the Silesian army. It has been said that this action 
on the part of Steinmetz shows an example of the 
difference between a good leader of troops and a genius: 
the former carries out the orders received with energy 
and success, the latter, not satisfied with such a result, 
makes it the stepping-stone to unexpected, more far- 
reaching actions. 

The causes of the Austrian defeat are not difficult to 
find. The faultiness of the initial orders was followed 
by the slowness in their transmission, and then again by 
the want of prompt decision and rapid action on the 
part of the General. If he bad started from Opocnoc at 
3 a.m. with a cavalry regiment and some of his artillery, 
he might have been on the plateau near Wysokow as 
early as the Prussians. The chief mistake lay in the 
fact that the Austrian brigades fought without connect- 
ion and unison of purpose, just as the different units of 
the 1st Prussian Army Corps fought at Trautenau on 



the same day. Here also was missing a direct, personal 
control, the same as on that battlefield, for Ramming 
was mostly near Kleny instead of being in a central 
position amongst his fighting troops, as Steinmetz was 
on his side. 

If we consider the events of the day from a tactical 
point of view, we see that one Prussian brigade of not 
quite six battalions with two batteries resisted for four 
hours the attacks of a force which gradually increased 
to twenty-one battalions. The Austrian musketry fire 
was bad, whilst the Prussians were firing deliberately 
and with good resuJt, as can be gathered from the com- 
paratively high percentage of the Austrian losses : their 
officers judged distances well and the sights were properly 

With regard to the shock tactics in which the Austrians 
boastingly confided, the experience of this battle showed 
that the Prussians attacked with the bayonet as often 
as the Austrians, and with greater success. 

The condition of the VI Austrian Corps after the 
battle is clearly demonstrated by the following message 
which General Ramming sent, at 5.30 p.m., to Field- 
Marshal Eenedek : — 

" It is my duty to report that, without assistance, I 
shall not be able to oppose any attack to-morrow morn- 
ing : I therefore beg to be relieved by the VIII Corps 
before to-morrow. My cavalry are so utterly ex- 
hausted that they are not capable of any movement." 

These words show plainly, what the result would have 
been, if Steinmetz had executed a vigorous pursuit with 
all those regiments which had only been undei 
short time and had suffered small losses. 

under fire a 



»0n the same day took place a slight en- 
Oswiedm g u g eni eut on the frontier of Upper Silesia, ? 
near the boundary line of Western Gah'cia. 
The various railway bridges along the frontier had been 
destroyed at the commencement of hostilities, but it 
was thought that the task of covering Upper Silesia 
could be most easily accomplished by an offensive 
movement into the enemy's territory. To carry out 
this idea, a detachment of four and a half battalions of 
infantry, two squadrons of cavalry and two guns, crossed 
the frontier with the intention of occupying Oswiecim. 
The enemy were driven out of the village, but repeated 
attempts to take the station buildings proved a failure, 
whereupon the detachment retreated and recrossed the 
frontier, after sustaining aloss of 6 officers, 166 men killed 
and wounded. 

On the 27th General Count Clam had 
thTlser" determined to retire from Miinchengratz, 
and to cover the northern flank during that 
movement he had ordered one brigade to occupy Pod- ; 

kkost, which afforded a strong position for the defence of 
an important defile against the advance of hostile forces 
from the north. A cavalry division was to start at 
4 a.m. on the 28th, to reconnoitre towards Sobotka and 
Gitschin, the main body of the army corps was to follow 
at 5 a.m., leaving the brigade Leiningen as rearguard to 
take up a position at Miinchengratz. 

At the Headquarters of the 1st Prussian Army the 
disposition of the enemy's forces doea not seem to have 
been known, for on the 25th Prince Frederick Charles 
had written to General Herwarth : " In consideration of 
the very deficient information about the strength and 

position of the Austrian troops at Prag and Leitmeritz, 
it is distinctly necessary to cover the right flank." To 
attain this object the Guard Landwehr Division, which 
was following the advance of the Elbe Army, should 
have been strengthened by cavalry and artillery, and 
directed towards Leitmeritz and Prag via Wernstadt and 
Raudnitz. The general situation in fact demanded 
such a movement, for the occupation of this city would 
have given to the invading army an excellent depot and 
a new basiB. 
Combat of ^ ne P" 11 ™ a ' so presumed (entrenching 
Miiiichen- had been reported) that the Austrians meant 
613 2 to hold Miiiicliengratz, and ordered the Elbe 
Army to advance from Niemes, so that its forces could 
attack the front of the position at 9 a.m. on the 28th, 
wlii 1st the 1st Army was to fall upon the flank and rear 
of the Austrian defence. For that purpose the 5th 
Division, under General Tiimpling, was to advance to 
Rowensko and to reconnoitre towards Gitschin. 

The attack of the advanced guard of the Elbe Army 
took place as ordered : at 10 a.m. General Leiningen had 
to retreat across the Iser, put on fire the bridge between 
Kloster and Miincliengratz, and was at 11 a.m. forced to 
retire from the strong position on the Musky mountain 
east of the town, because the danger of being outflanked 
from the north and perhaps cut off became then immi- 
nent. He retreated on another brigade left behind for 
his security by the main body, and both together followed 
the latter to Sobotka. 

In the meantime the Austrian detachment sent 
reconnoitre towards Gitschin had met a small Prussi 
force sent forward with the same object ; after a sligl 




engagement the latter retired in the direction of Rowen- 
sko. Thus warned of the threatening approach of the 
1st Prussian Army, General Clam had Gitschin occupied 
by one brigade the Bame evening. 

This day's fighting had caused the Austrians the loss 
of 20 officers and 1,634 men, including 5 officers and 
1,211 men taken prisoners, whilst the Prussians had lost 
8 officers and 333 men. 

In the evening the bulk of the I Austrian Corps was 
at Sobotka, the Saxon Corps about Brezno and Unter- 
Bautzen, the Elbe Army about Miinchengriitz, the 1st 
Prussian Army east of the Iser on the roads to Gitschin. 

Late at night on the 27th the telegraph had announced 
at Miinchengratz that the Headquarters of the Austrian 
army would arrive at Gitschin on the 28th, in the 
morning the Crown Prince of Saxony had received the order 
to begin with both his corps the march towards a junction 
with the great army. On the 28th the Austrian Head- 
quarters evidently still expected to be at Gitschin on 
the 29th and 30th, as the two corps were ordered to 
march early on the 2S)th to Gitschin and Podhrad. 

In execution of General Clam's disposi- 
tions, the brigade Ringelshetm had arrived late 
in the evening of the 27th at Podkost ; their outposts 
were attacked about 11 p.m. and driven back a short 
distance. The firing ceased at 1 a.m. ; at 3 a.m. the 
attack began again, but was unsuccessful, as the defile 
was blocked by a strong castle and the heights on both 
sides well occupied. At 7 a.m. the castle was abandoned 
and the brigade withdrawn in the direction of Gitschin, 
which was reached at 1 p.m. ; the object of covering the 
flank of the I Army Corps leaving Munchengratz had 
been attained. 


t ^ 




Events on Jon 


i. an the 28th the Crown Prince of 

Burkwsdori' Prussia had received the news of the un- 
(M ' successful result of the battle of Trautenau. 
In consequence Steinmetz could not be supported by 
one of the divisions of the Guards, but their whole 
strength had to be employed to disengage the 1st Army 
Corps and to open the defile of Trautenau. In the 
supposition that this corps would renew on the 28th the 
attempt to debouch from the mountains, and in ignor- 
ance of the fact that it had gone back to Liebau and 
Schoniberg, the Crown Prince at 2 a.m. issued orders to 
General Prince August of Wurtemberg, commanding 
the Guards to continue the inarch to Kaile, and, in case 
of the fight continuing at Trautenau, to proceed there 
and give assistance. In execution of this order the 
2nd Division at Koste lee paraded at 4.3*1 and marched 
offtoEipel, where it arrived at 7. 45 behind the 1st Guard 
Brigade, when the 2nd Brigade had already passed 
through, and the advanced guard was approaching 
i H'rr-Kiuit-sch, 

General Gablanz had reported to Field-Marshal Bene- 
dek, at 9,16 p.m. on the 27th, the dispositions he had 
made after the battle at Trautenau, had expressed 



apprehensions about his right flank, and asked for 
supports to occupy Prausnitz in order to secure that 
side. At 6 a.m. on the 28th he received the reply that 
four battalions of the IV Corps would forthwith be sent 
to occupy Prausnitz, Kaile and Eipel ; but by a mis- 
take these battalions were directed to a place, Prausnitz, 
five miles west of Koniginhof, and Benedek was not 
informed of it. Then at 7 a.m. G-ablenz received orders 
to leave Trautenau, to hasten his retreat to Prausnitz, 
and there to take up a position facing east to oppose 
strong columns of the enemy moving in that neighbour- 

This partial retrograde movement could 

be of no ultimate advantage ; the corps had 
suffered great losses, after which it could not be supposed 
to be strong enough to oppose attacks from north and 
east by two forces each probably superior in numbers. 
The corps should have been— after the is-sue of (lie 
battle of Nachod — taken back to Koniginhof or, via 
Pilnikau, direct behind the Elbe. 

A tangible mistake was also made in the dispositions 
for the march of the 2nd Guard Division from Kostelee : 
instead of leaving the corps artillery and the heavy 
cavalry hrigade to march behind the infantry, they 
ought to have been sent on to Eipel at a trot, so as to be 
near the plateau of Staudenz, the only spot in that 
locality where they could be of much use. Tie &OWH 
Prince also should have hurried there to have obtained 
a personal insight in the conditions of the important 
engagement to be fought. 

Directly after receipt of his orders Gablenz 

had sent off his transport towards Prausnitz, 



the brigades Knebel and Wimpfen were to folJow with 
the corps artillery, the flank was to be covered by a 
regiment of cavalry with one battery, ordered to march 
via Alt-Rognitz to Staudenz, and there to take up a 
position. The brigade Mondl was to form the rearguard, 
and the brigade Grivicic was to march from the hills at 
Kriblitz via Alt-Rognitz to Raatsch, and take up a 
position there : this should have been done on the pre- 
vious evening or early in the morning. 

The approach of the flank-guard to Staudenz was 
observed and reported by the Prussian cavalry, upon 
which Prince Wurtemberg gave the extraordinary 
order for his advanced guard to fall back and take a 
position behind the Aupa, instead of going to see himself 
what was happening. He sent word to the Army Head- 
quarters that the connection with the 1st Corps was not 
yet established, and that he would assume a waiting 
position, until he could arrange further action in concert 
with that corps. This decision was clearly contrary to 
his orders, which directed him to proceed to Kaile before 
entering upon any farther movements. 

At 9 a.m. he ordered the advance on Burkeradorf. 
His advanced guard passed through Staudenz at 9.30, 
and then came in view of the Austrian corps artillery, 
which took up a position at Burkeradorf, flanked on 
both sides by the brigade Knebel and the cavalry regi- 
ment : an artillery duel ensued. At 11.30 the Guards 
attacked Burkeradorf and took it ; the brigade Knebel 
with the batteries retired to Altenbuch. where they were 
joined by brigades Wimpfen and Mondl : they all then 
retreated towards Pilnikau. 

The brigade Grivicic on the march to Raatsch, left 


without news or instructions, had passed Alt-Roguitz 
and Riideradorf, when it was attacked at 12 o'clock by 
parts of the 2nd Guard Division : the struggle was fierce 
and obstinate, but by 3 p.m. the Austrian brigade was 
so completely routed, that only 2,000 men succeeded 
in getting away to Pilnikau. The Guards had lost 
28 officers and 685 men, 15 and 402, respectively, in 
the two regiments which did most of the fighting. The 
Austrian loss amounted to 55 officers and 1,079 men 
killed and wounded ; (!8 officers, 2,1*17 men were taken 


During the righting, simultaneously with which an 
engagement took place at Skalitz, the Crown Prince had 
been on a hill near Kostelec, and after receipt of the 
news that Skalitz had been taken, had hastened to Eipel, 
where he learnt that his 1st Corps was at Liebau on 
Prussian ground. He now determined to assemble his 
army on the following day, the 29th, on the plateau 
north of Kdniginhof. 

If Prince August had not retarded the 

advance of the 1st Guard Division by more 

than an hour, and if the cavalry brigade and the corps 

artillery had been to the front, only small parts of the 

Austrian X Corps would have escaped captivity. 

The most profitable way of supporting Steuunetz 
at Skalitz would havo been to occupy Staudenz ; if this 
had been done early, part of the Guards could have 
taken the Austrians in the rear, whilst they were being 
attacked in front by Steinmetz. 

In consequence of the report which General 

SltaSti* R aQumn 8 had 8ent to Benedek after the 

engagement fought at Nachod, the VIII 


IiVustrian Corps had relieved the VI Corps in the posi- 
tions which the troops occupied after the fighting and 
the retreat to Skaiitz, which had not been pressed by the 
Prussians: the Archduke Leopold was put in command 
of the two corps. The IV Corps also had been brought 
up as further support from Josephstadt. 

At 10.30 Benedek arrived at Skaiitz, and saw Prussian 
troops at Dubno and on the Schafberg, but drew the con- 
clusion that a direct attack on Skaiitz was not intended, 
but rather a turning movement via Chwalkowitz. He 
therefore gave the order that, in case no fighting should 
occur by 2 p.m., the VI Corps was to move south from 
Trebesow,and to be followed by the VIII Corps. Directly 
after this order had been written out by the head of the 
Army Staff, Benedek gave the Archduke the verbal 
order to march off at once, and when on his drive back 
to Josephstadt he saw General Ramming, he ordered 
him also to begin the movement at once : a psychologist 
might find it hard to explain such contradiction of 
purpose at ft most important moment. The second 
order was not executed. 

The brigade Schulz of the VIII Coips was posted at 
and about Skaiitz, forming the right wing ; the brigade 

kKreyssern was in the centre, and the brigade Fragnern 
on the left wing. The position had a length of only about 
2,500 yards, which allowed eight men per yard ; the 
Aupa, with steep rocky banks, was behind it, and 500 
yards in front of the left wing there was a wood I 

Ramming would have acted more wisely, if, after his 

retreat on the previous evening, he had occupied the 

heights on the right bank of the Aupa, but he hoped to 

: soon relieved, and had evidently not taken the 



trouble to study the local geography ; nor had the chiel 
staff officer of the VIII Corps inspected the position. 
Anyhow, General Fragnern, in command of the left wing, 
should have occupied Zlitsch to secure the bridge over 
the Aupa behind that village, as it gave easy access to 
the hue of retreat. 

Directly after Bencdek had on parting given 
the Archduke the order to retire from his 
position, the latter directed verbally one battalion to re- 
connoitre the forest of Dubno, and, if it should be 
occupied by hostile troops, to drive them out ; this 
movement, as will be seen, brought on the engagement 
which was to have been avoided. 

Steinmetz had received orders to take Skalitz, One 
brigade of the 6th Corps had arrived as reinforcement 
of the 5th Corps, and two more brigades were expected 
during the day ; but, to judge from their watchfires at 
m'ght, the Austrians seemed to be several army corps 
strong. In view of these conditions of comparative 
strength, Steinmetz determined to seize the heights at 
Studnitz, north of Skalite, in order to facilitate his 
junction with the promised division of Guards, and to 
be able, in case of necessity, to fall back on the Guards 
towards Kostelec ; but to evacuate Wysokow was 
dangerous, because an Austrian force coming from 
Neustadt (south) could then gain the plateau and wedge 
in between liiin and the approacliing main body of the 
Oth Corps. To obtain exact information on the possi' 
bility of such a move, he sent at 5 a.m. a regiment of 
cavalry to reconnoitre the whole countryside towards 
Neustadt, and on receipt of the report that no enemies 
could be seen in that direction, he ordered General 


Lowenfeldt, at 7 a.m., to march off to Studnitz with six 
battalions, to effect a junction with the expected divi- 
sion of Guards, and to advance together with them 
against Skalitz. The advanced guard of the 5th Corps, 
three battalions and two batteries with a regiment of 
cavalry, deployed at 8 a.m. between Starkosch and the 
railway, the 9th Division was on the Nachod road, and 
on the left of it the brigade Hoffmann of the 6th Corps ; 
the 9th Division had received the general direction to 
advance north of the highroad behind the advanced 

By 11 a.m. Lowenfeldt had passed Studnitz and 
reached the Schafberg, where he deployed his brigade, 
occupying the Dubno farm with one battalion. Stein- 
metz, who had just then received the intimation that 
Only the heavy cavalry of the Guard would join him, at 
once ordered Lowenfeldt to attack, and sent the same 
order to the other unite. 

Nine battalions rushed from various directions into 
the above-mentioned wood, where the one battalion of 
Austrians sent there by the Archduke was severely 
handled and nearly annihilated ; the corps batteries 
came up at Kleny, and began a lively artillery duel with 
the Austrian guns posted east of Skalitz. As the brigades 
Fragnern and Kreyssern had not received orders to 
retreat, Fragnern sent supports into the wood, also 
towards Zlitsch to cover the left flank, and south to- 
wards the railway. They could not advance across the 
embankment under the lire of infantry in the ditch of 
the road opposite, and, as they gradually got Ere also in 
flank and rear, were forced to retire to Skalitz : only a 
few detachments managed to get back to their original 

position. Then five battalions of the brigade Kreyasern 
advanced against the railway embankment with the 
same result. The retreat of the two brigades was 
covered by the fire of two battalions and the corps 
batteries, whilst brigade Schulz had begun its retreat 
at 1 p.m. by order of the Archduke. At 3 p.m. the east 
entrance of the town, obstinately defended by three 
battalions, was taken by assault, rifle companies ap- 
proached Klein-Skalitz, having passed the bridge near 
Zlitsch. The brigade Rosenzweig of the VI Corps at 
Trebesow covered the farther retreat of the VIII, and 
finally fell back in its own turn to Schweinsohade], where 
the IV Corps had arrived at 1 p.m. During the night 
the VIII Corps reached Salncy; the VI Corps got to 
Lanzow on the next morning. 

The Austrians lost 184 officers and 3,106 men killed 
and wounded, 21 officers and 2,266 men taken prisoners. 
The Prussian fire had been very deadly : the brigade 
Fragnern had 824 dead, 620 wounded; the brigade 
Kreyasern 352 dead, 639 wounded. The Prussians 
62 officers and 1,2'JO men killed and wounded ; 13 

The Prussians camped near Skalitz, the Guai 
Cuirassier Brigade went back to Kostelec, where thi 
presence was perfectly useless : if they had crossed the 
bridge at Zlitsch and occupied the plateau of Ratiboritz, 
they would have covered the right flank of the 5th Corps, 
have maintained the connection with the Guards Corps, 
and been in a position to watch the Chwalkowitz road. 
The Archduke Leopold received the on 
to retreat to Salncy at 11 a.m., when t 
roads were open to him for the movement, the mt 





road and the one via Zwo] to Jaromir. He was not 

talented, still less good-natured, rather irritable and 
self-conceited, also without any war experience ; but he 
was Chief Commandant of Marines and Director of 
Engineers, also senior amongst the generals command- 
ing army corps. When therefore he by chance heard 
Benedek assign an independent command to General 
Gablenz, he believed himself passed over purposely. 
In this frame of mind lie sent the 4th Battalion Crenne- 
ville into the forest, which provoked and brought on the 
battle, during which he remained passive, because he 
had no practice in handling troops. In consequence 
there was no control or direction during the action, and 
the brigadiers had to act each on his own idea. Frag- 
nern preferred the wood to the narrow ridge for fighting, 
other troops were attracted in the same direction by 
the firing, and ultimately there were 14,000 men of 
different nationalities crowded together on a small 
space of ground, hindering each other even in the use 
of their rifles, without direction or control, an easy 
target to the encircling, much weaker enemy, with the 
result that within an hour 3,000menwere lost. Neither 
fire tactics nor shock tactics had anything to do with this 
result ; it was only a case of order and firm control 
defeating senselessness, lack of leading and the resulting 
disorder. In spite of many defects, the position might 
have been tenable, if the brigade Fragnern had been 
posted behind Zlitsch on the heights near Castle Rati- 
boritz, if Skalitz had been occupied by the brigade 
Schulz, and if the ridge extending to Zlitsch and the 
Aupa valley had been enfiladed by a few well-covered 
"latteries at Skalitz. 


The attack by the Prussians was started sensibly and 
carried through with satisfactory energy : the line of the 
Aupa was occupied as ordered, just as the line of the 
Mettau on the previous day. But from the geographico- 
strategical point of view communications are more 
important than watercourses, and therefore orders 
should have been given to capture the heights of Tre- 
besow-Schweinschiidel in order to place the Guards 
Corps at Staudenz into safe communication with the 
5th and 6th Corps. The retreat of the VI and VIII 
Austrian Corps could be watched from the hill near 
Klein-Skalitz, and could not but invite a vigorous 
pursuit in view of the condition of the Austrian troops, 
evidenced by the large number of prisoners. It is 
that farther advance had not been ordered, but surely 
an independent commander must be allowed to use all 
opportunities to inflict losses on the enemy, and a passive 
restraint after a victorious fight is therefore not justified : 
neither at Berlin nor at the Headquarters of the 2nd 
Army could these local circumstances and conditions 
be foreseen, judged and dealt with by special orders , 
these belong to the province of personal observation and 
of the psychological instinct of what is possible and 
attainable at the moment. 

To reap the full advantage of the victory the Guard 
Cavalry Brigade and the 10th Division could advance to 
Chwalkowitz, the other three brigades against Schwein 
schadel, both merely an hour's march from the Au; 
The result would have been the defeat of the tl 
brigades of the I V Austrian Corps, which would have 
immensely increased the disorder and discouragement 
already existing. Benedek had assembled about Ska- 




litz three army corps, not really in order to attack, but 
to support and relieve each other, and this presumed 
prudence and circumspection would then have resulted 
in their retreat behind the Elhe, defeated and humiliated. 
Even Jaronu'r, with its passage over the Elbe, might 
perhaps have been before night in the hands of the 

If Steinmetz had been in Boiun's place at Trautenau, 
he would, without doubt, not have hesitated a moment 
to attack Gablenz with all his might and to drive him 
back behind Prausnitz, for in that case the wording of 
his order would not have put a limit to his energy and 
natural thoroughness ; he was an eminent leader, but 
without the exceptional fruitful talent given only to 
nature's few favourites. The Archduke, on the other 
hand, would not obey, and could not command. 

The Crown Prince, who in the morning had gone to 
the heights of Koste lee, where the reserve artillery of the 
Guards Corps had arrived, moved his head quarters to 
Eipel, but went to Trautenau himself. The three 
brigades of the 6th Army Corps, which had reached 
Riickerts, were ordered to continue the advance, to rein- 
force the 5th Corps and cover the left flank of the army ; 
Steinmetz was to command the 6th Corps together with 
his own. 

B. Events on June 29 
Battle of Gitschin 

The orders issued by Benedek seem to be 

"TfS^ fo^ed *>n the surmise that he would 

succeed in assembling his main forces west 

of Josephstadt by the 30th, so as to make an offensive 

movement against the 1st Prussian Army : the III Corps 
was to march on the 29th from Miletin to Gitechin, one 
cavalry division to Horiz, and on the 30th three or four 
more corps were to follow in the direction of Lomnitz. 
It seems as if he had still considered one or two corps 
sufficient to hold the upper course of the Elbe and cover 
his right flank in the intended movement to the west. 
This communication from Benedek arrived at Gitechin 
on tli » - 29th at 2 p.m., when Clam Gallas, in temporary 
absence of the Crown Prince of Saxony, had the com- 
mand of the two army corps ; he determined to defend 
the position wliich had been chosen as follows : On the 
left Lochow, on the road from Miincheiigratz, was held 
by the brigade Ringclslieim, north-east of it the heights 
of Prachow and Brada by the brigades Abele and Posch- 
aclier with the brigade Leinuigen in reserve behind 
Brada ; Eisenstadtl on the right was held by the brigade 
Piret, and in the interval at Diletz there was a cavalry 
division and the reserve artillery. The Saxon Corps, 
which had left the neighbourhood of Unter- Bautzen at 
3 a.m., had arrived near Podhrad before noon, and two ot 
its brigades were detailed to move to Diletz in case of 
an attack by the enemy. 

Prince Frederick Charles was informed on the 28th, 
by telegram from Berlin, of the probable location and 
disposition of the Austrian corps, also of the advance 
of the Crown Prince's forces, of which the 1st Army 
Corps, however, were still at Liebenau and three brigades 
of the Cth at Lewin. Under these circumstances it 
seemed necessary that the 1st Army should advance 
beyond the originally fixed rendezvous at Gitschin, 
which the Prince had already resolved to do, when, at 



7 a.m. on the 29th, he received a telegram from Berlin, 
informing him that the King expected the 1st Army to 

I disengage by an accelerated advance the 2nd Army, 
tfeeD in ft difficult position. At 9 a.m. the following orders 
were issued : The 3rd Division (Werder) marches via 
Subotka to CJitschin, to be followed by the Tth Division 
(Fransecky). The 5th Division (Tiimpling) is to start 
ftt once, take Gitochin, and push forward advanced 
guards beyond it, to be followed by the 4th Division 
(Herwarth)andtheCavalryDivision (Alvensleben), The 
6th Division (Manatein). the 8th Division (Horn) and the 
Cavalry Division (Hann)areto take up positions at Ober 
and Unter-Bautzen towards Jung-Bnnzlau. 

The division Tiimpling left Rowensko 
at 1.30 p.m., and its advanced guard reached 
Libun at 3.30. The General resolved to hold the two 
Austrian brigades on the steep heights of Prachow and 
Brada by a containing attack by three battalions of the 
10th Brigade, and to take Zames and Diletz with the 
9th Brigade : this was carried out. But when the 2nd 
Saxon Division arrived at Gitschin, they were ordered 
by their frown Prince to recapture Diletz, which they 
did, whilst the Austrian brigade Piret advanced from 
Eisenstadtl against Zames. Against this attack Tiim- 
pling was obliged to bring up the last battalion of his 
reserve, but at that time Major Sternberg, of the Head- 
ijUftitera Sitaff, brought Benedek'a order to avoid any 
engagement with superior hostile forces, and to effect a 
junction with the main army near Horiz and Miletin, 
aa the four army corps previously pronused had mean- 
while received a different destination. The Saxon 
Crown Prince in consequence ordered a general retreat. 

On the Miinchengratz road the brigade Ringelaheim 
fought with alternating success from 5,30 against the 
3rd Division Werder, which succeeded in gaining Wos- 
trushno, and forcing the cavalry brigade to retire behind 
Wohawee.. A counter attack made by General Ringel- 
aheim at 8.15 was well delivered, but was defeated by 
rapid firing : it had evidently been made to cover the 
general retreat. The regiment Wurtemberg fell back 
fighting and supported by the fire of some batteries, till 
it arrived in a shattered condition at the gate of Gitschin, 
the occupation of which was now committed to the 
Saxon Life Brigade. In the meantime the Saxon 
division had fallen back from Diletz to the Zebinberg, 
and the brigade Piret, whose attack on Zanies had failed, 
to the monastery of the Carthusians ; the greater part 
of the brigades Poschacher and Abele had retired on 
Gitschin, leaving at Poduls, on the Brada hill and at 
Prachow, a few detachments, which were later on de- 
stroyed on their retreat. 

By 1 1 p.m. most parts of the town had been evacuated 
by the troops crossing in all directions, but before the 
Saxon Life Brigade had arrived to occupy it, a Prussian 
battalion had entered from the west, but was again 
driven out by 11.30. The Saxon Brigade marched off 
at 12.30, and after a short engagement with its rearguard, 
troops of the 3rd and 5th Prussian Divisions marched 
into the town. This fighting in the dark had very 
unpleasant results, for in the confusion caused by it the 
Austrian brigades did not receive the dispositions made 
for the retreat, and in consequence the unite of the 
main body got mixed up retreating on Horiz and on 
Miletin, whilst some, mixed up with the Saxons, retired 
towards Smirdar. 



The Austrians lost 184 officers, 4,704 men; theSaxonB, 
26 officers, 566 men; the Prussians, 71 officers, 1,482 

The total strength of the two allied corps 
was 66,000 nominally, but only four Austrian 
and two .Saxon brigades, with only a portion of the 
cavalry, took part in the engagement, about 42,000 men, 
who were opposed by two divisions of a normal strength 
of 36,000. This statement shows that the Allies could 
have employed great superiority of strength in making 
an attack on one road or taking a position of defence near 
the junction of both roads ; but, instead of doing either, 
they took up with 24,000 men the position on the 
northern road from Eisenstadtl to Brada, which was 
certainly strong in physical features and favourable 
artillery positions, the occupation of which, however, 
depended on the resistance which the brigade Ringel- 
sheim could offer on the western road against the 3rd 
Prussian Division : as soon as part of the latter obtained 
possession of Wostnischno, the position at Diletz would 
have had to be given up, even if the retreat had not been 
ordered from headquarters. 

The point has been raiser I that the Saxon troops should 
not have been inserted in the midst of Austrian units, 
but should have been placed separately on the left flank 
between Prachow and Lochow ; but in comparing times, 
it would appear that the 2nd Saxon Division, which was 
the first to arrive, did not appear till after the fight had 
commenced. Therefore all surmises of a better result 
drawn from the assumption of the possibility of that 
arrangement must fail to the ground. 

IJiil it seems quite legitimate to criticise the way in 

which Benedek's order was interpreted and acted upon : 
" to avoid any fight with superior hostile forces and to 
continue the retrograde movement to the main army 
does not mean to break off a combat fully engage* 
which should have been successful if properly con- 
ducted ; in fact, it was less dangerous to carry on thi 
fight than to get disengaged and retire , as nothing was foi 
seen and prepared for that eventuality. Besides, such 
orders are only to be obeyed implicitly, if the officer who 
issues them has complete knowledge of the actual con- 
dition of affairs, if he is present on the spot, or can be 
immediately informed of the impossibility or difficulty 
of executing his order : this was not the case here, and 
the Saxon Crown Prince Bhould have taken the responsi- 
bility of acting independently. But if the order for 
retreat was not warranted by the circumstances of the 
case, the dispositions made for it by the Staff were too 
complicated, belated and therefore useless. In such a 
case a pedantic chief of the Staff, fond of writing out 
detailed orders, is of no good ; a few sharp words, a few 
clear directions given on the spot from the saddle to 
energetic adjutants must suffice to set the whole machin- 
ery working in the new direction. 

As it was certainly the fatal order for retreat which 
caused the defeat of the Allies, the question arises, why 
the attacking force was comparatively so small, seeing 
that it was even apprehended that the Saxon Crown 
Prince might have been reinforced by the III Austrian 
Corps. Tins question implies a doubt in the correctness 
of the conduct of operations by the Commander-in-Chief 
an important battle of doubtful issue was fought 
only about 20,000 men without the presence of a su] 




issue was fought by 
presence of a superior 

commander, when the Prince had at his disposal a force 
of about 130,000 men. The two divisions employed did 
not belong to the same army corps, nor did those 
ordered to follow them : the unity of the army corps 
formation, so long established in the Prussian army, had 

wen abolished at a critical period in this one army to 
please and satisfy the idiosyncrasies and jealousy of 

command of an imperious temperament. 

A great mistake in the opposite direction had been 
made in the useless assembly of great forces for the 
capture of the position of Miinchengratz : the Prince 
had only to march rapidly with close columns from 
Reichenau to Qitschin to separate the Saxon Crown 
Prince hopelessly from the Austrian main army. Again, 
if one considers the fact that the large force of cavalry 
was systematically left behind the infantry instead of 
having the theatre of operations traversed and recon- 
noitred by them, one can understand, how the patient 
Moltke even lost his patience at last, and induced the 
King to express an urgent demand for rapid and decided 

The 7th Prussian Division (Fransecky) had heard at 
the rendezvous at Sobotka the thunder of the guns at 
Gitechin, had marched off in its direction at 6 p.m. and 
advanced as far as Woharis. 

Situation in Other Parts of the Theatre of Operations 

The 2nd Prussian Army Corps was intended to reach 
the Elbe on the 29th. The 1st Army Corps was moved 
forward via Trautenau and was in bivouac round Pilni- 
kau, the Cavalry Division following {!); it arrived at 

Prausnitz-Kaile, to which place the Crown Prince 
moved his 

The Guards Corps and the 5th Corps did not reach 
their points of destination without some fighting. 

Benedek saw that the corps which had got into con- 
tact with the columns of the 2nd Army on the left bank 
of the Elbe had been driven across the river as the result 
of the previous day's fighting, and he had ordy his IV 
Corps still posted on the left bank, half a brigade (three 
battalions) occupying Koniginhof, the other three 
brigades at Dolan (four and a half miles from Skalitz). 

Now for the first time the danger of the advance of 
the 2nd Army seems to have been appreciated in the 
Austrian Headquarters. The intended forward move- 
menttowards the Iser had to be given up, and the units 
which had been already sent off in that direction, viz. 
the III Army Corps and the 3rd Reserve Cavalry Division, 
received counter orders whilst on the march. 

We have seen already that the I and the Saxon 
Corps were ordered to join the main army at Horiz and 
Milctin, where the III Corps was now told to remain. 
The other units were to be concentrated in a position 
on the plateau of Dubenetz (five miles west of Jaromir) 
to face the army of the Crown Prince. The IV Corps 
was provisionally to stay at Dolan, but not to engage 
in an unequal fight, but rather retire to Salney heights 
(four miles north west of Jaromir), where twocavalry divi- 
sions were already posted facing east. The II Army Corps 
was directed to occupy the heights from Salney to Kukus 
(on the Elbe, six miles west of Skalitz), and to be pre- 
pared to resist attack from east as well as from 
north-west. Two brigades of the VIII Corps should 



form the reserve to the I V and II , its 3rd Brigade be on 
the left of the II Corps facing north, the VI Corps to 
extend the line to the left with the flank covered by two 
cavalry divisions ; the X Corps was designated to be 
the reserve for tliis flank. The Army Artillery Reserve 
was to remain at Gross Biirglitz (seven miles west of 
Jaromir), the Headquarters were established at Dubenetz 
and the construction of battery epaulenients was com- 

As the advanced IV Army Corps came across the 
Elbe in the course of the day, as will be seen later on, 
all the troops reached the positions allotted to them 
during the afternoon and evening. The army was thus 
able to receive on the 30th the attack of the Silesian 
army. In a line of only six miles there were assembled 
five corps and four cavalry divisions. Although the 
ground within the area of the position was not favourable 
to unhindered communication, yet it contained a con- 
siderable strength of resistance on account of the Elbe 
and the fair height of the hills towards north and east. 
Ou the other hand, the main road from Trautcnau via 
KonigimW to Gitschin had been given up, and it 
was there that the columns of the Guards and the 1st 
Corps were approaching. 

Capture of Kbniginhot 
In the night after the combat of Burkersdorf detach- 
ments of the X Austrian Corps had held Upper Soor 
occupied, but in the morning of the 29th they retired 
in the direction of Koniginhof. The division Killer 
was ordered to take this place, and was to be followed 
by the division Plonski with the reserve artillery, which 



had somehow wandered oS to Trautenau, perhaps to 
look for the whereabouts of the missing 1st Corps. 

When the vanguard of the ad vanccd guard (commanded 
by Lt. -Colonel Count Waldersee, since known as Com- 
mander-in-Chief in the China Expedition) approached 
the northern suburbs of the little town, they received 
fire from the small garrison, part of which had occupied 
a brick-kiln, a cemetery, and some buildings outside the 
suburbs. The Austrians at first resisted obstinately, 
but when the one and a half battalions of the vanguard 
were reinforced by the arrival of the mainguard and two 
batteries, the Austrians were driven steadily into and 
through the town, although four batteries of the brigade 
Mondl had hurried up and opened fire from the hills 
south of the town, but at too great a distance to be 
effective. The upper bridge over the Elbe was occupied, 
before it could be used for the retreat ; then the Aus- 
trians retired through the town and across the lower 
bridge towards Schurz (two miles south-east), leaving 
421 prisoners behind them : ttiey had also had 48 killed 
and 128 wounded, whilst the loss of the Prussians was 
17 killed, 52 wounded. 

As the Prussians had not the intention of crossing the 
Elbe, they went into bivouac in the town and north of 
it, placing the outposts along the bank of the river. 

Combat o[ Schweinschadel 

Situation in Opposed to the 5th Prussian Army Corps 

Front of the outposts of the IV Austrian Corps were 

temineti holding the line Langwasser-Trebesow. 

General Steinmetz was allowing a rest during t 

ring the hours 


of forenoon to his troops tired by the fighting of the two 
preceding daya. The march to Gradlitz— to join the 
other corps of the 2nd Army — was not to be commenced 
till about 2 p.m., and although the destruction of the 
enemy's forces must always be the main object in war, 
Steinmetz intended, if possible, to avoid any fighting. 
With this intention he wanted to march round the left 
flank of the enemy's line of outposts through ZUtsch, 
Ratiboritz and Wetrnik, and thus to gain the road 
Ch walk owitz- Gradlitz. Only the brigade Wittich, 
followed by a cavalry brigade, was to proceed as flank- 
guard on the right bank of the Aupa to cover his own 
flank march and to join the main body again at Miskoles. 
Steinmetz began his march with the 5th Corps, 
brigade Hoffmann of the 6th Corps and the Guards 
Cavalry Brigade, when the three other brigades of the 
6th Corps arrived at Skalitz from Nachod, and when 
he disposed of about 50,000 men in case of a serious 

Under these circumstances a really good 
commander would have at once conceived the 
plan of attacking the enemy with energy in order to 
drive him to the Elbe between Jaromir and Kukus, gain 
the passages across the river together with him, ascend the 
heights covered, as it were, by the fugitives, and to obtain 
a firm footing between Salney and Schurz with seven 
brigades whilst using one brigade to contain Jaromir. 
Steinmetz had already severely shaken and disordered 
the VI and the VIII, and if he succeeded in doing the 
same with the IV Corps, then only the II Corps was 
left to render serious resistance; anyhow, he could safely 
reckon on the confusion which is caused by an unex- 


,ted and 


pected event after a series of defeats and disasters, 
especially when the surprise blow falls on defeated and 
demoralised heterogeneous masses under incapable 
leadership. The whole corps of the Guards could reach 
Kbnigmhof on the next morning and be followed closely 
by the 1st Corps : in that case the Austrian North Army 
would have had to retreat without delay into the position 
of Horenowes, and the junction with the Army of the 
Iser would have become problematic 

But Steinmetz was only bent on executing his flank 
march, if possible without fighting, which 
was taction lly impassible. His left flanking 
column, the brigade Wittich, with three batteries and 
one regiment of cavalry, came upon the Austrians at 
3.30 at Klein-Trzebesow, when the advanced guard of 
the army corps was passing the ravine at Wetrnik. 
The Austrian artillery fire caused this advanced guard 
to form up in line near Miskoles and part of it to advance 
against Schweinschadel. The fire of five Austrian 
batteries (forty guns) at last forced the general com- 
manding the 10th Division to order the 19th Brigade, 
which had already proceeded beyond Wetrnik, to form 
up in line near Miskoles, and to order the attack on 
Schweinschadel ; the brigade took the place and was 
pushing on against Dolan, but had to come back to the 
plateau of Miskoles in obedience to the special order 
of the obstinate commanding general. At 7.30 the 
march to Gradlitz was continued, whereupon the IV 
Austrian Corps retired behind the Elbe, after having lost 
1,450 men including 550 prisoners; the loss of the 
Prussians amounted to 394 all told. 


The resolution of the Crown Prince to 
Comment , , , , . . . , 

on the place the 2nd Army in position on the 
vu"t^ plateau of Koniginhof was natural, therefore 
to the purpose, for thereby the connection 
with the 1st Army was actually established : Koniginhof 
is only twenty-three miles distant, from Gitchin, and one 
cavalry regiment was sufficient to keep open the com- 
munication and perform the orderly service. But it 
would have been more important to have watched the 
neighbourhood of Josephstadt, and an immediate attack 
seemed demanded by the situation, as explained above. 
One chance had been lost, but the IV Austrian Corps 
had anyhow retired behind the Elbe discomfited. 
Troops who are constantly worsted are sure to feel a 
steadily increasing reluctance to fight, whilst success 
increases the readiness to meet dangers— every new 
success is a cause of satisfaction : the 2nd Prussian Army 
might have shown more enterprise. Perhaps General 
Blumenthal, the Chief of its Staff, had planned an attack 
on the left flank of the Austrian position, and directed the 
march of the 1st Army Corps on Pilnikau on that 
account ; if so, he had given up the idea, as Moltke did 
not seem to wish for an attack before the junction of 
the two armies. 



A. Events on Junk 30 

On the * N tne mormn 8 King William left Berlin 

Prussian for the theatre of war with General Moltke 
e and his Staff. Shortly before the departure 
lie had received the news that the 2nd Army had occupied 
the line of the Elbe ; in consequence the following order 
was sent during the journey to the two princes com- 
manding the armies : — 

" The 2nd Army is to hold the left bank of the Upper 
Elbe with the right wing ready to join the 1st Army, 
as the latter advances without delay in the direction of 
Koniggratz. If hostile forces of any strength appear 
on the right flank of this forward movement, General 
Herwarth (Kibe Army) is to attack them and drive 
them off from their main army." 

Even before the receipt of this order Prince Frederick 
Charles had determined to advance beyond Gitschin 
on the road to Koniginhof in order to get nearer to the 
2nd Army. Accordingly he had issued orders for hi3 
divisions to start in the afternoon and proceed sufficiently 
far so that the outposts of the 5th and 7th Divisions 
wunlil he near Miletin and Horiz. The 14th, 15th and 
tflti Divisions ware to reach the neighbourhood of Libau, i 



and the Guard Landwehr Division was to march as 
as Jung-Bunzlau. 

As the 2nd Army had reached the line Aruaii-Konigin- 
hof-Knkus, and the farther advance of the 1st Army 
would necessarily lay open the passages across the Elbe, 
the Ctowji Prince had ordered that serious encounters 
were to be avoided on the 30th, that the different army 
corps bad to provide for their own security, that the 
passages across the river were to be reconnoitred and 
that preparations should be made for a farther advance. 
Having been left till then without any news from the 
1st Army beyond the advance from Turnau, the frown 
Prince also ordered that cavalry detachments be sent 
off from the 1st Army Corps to estabbsh direct com- 
munication : these were met at Arnau by a cavalry 
regiment from the 1st Army sent off with the same 
object. During the day there was a short artillery 
duel across the Elbe between batteries of the n 
Austrian and the 5th Prussian Corps at a distance of 
4.U00 yards : the losses on both sides were trifling, but 
a building in Gradlitz, at Steinmetz's headquarters, was 
set on fire by shells. 

On the ^ f-"^ m * ne mornm g the brigades Pii 

Austrian and Abele and the reserve artillery arrived 
1 e at Miletin ; Archduke Ernest, commanding 
the III Army Corps posted there, had learned from 
outpost reports, received at 3.30 and 5.30 a.m., that 
Gitschin had been taken by the Prussians and had 
telegraphed to Benedek : " I Army Cbrps and Saxons 
on the march to Miletin, Gitschin occupied by the Prus- 
sians." He now sent off the further message : " 
tachments of the I Corps arriving already, unfit 




fighting, ammunition park empty, no supplies, will 
provisionally go into bivouac behind us." During the 
morning the Headquarters and the brigades Poschacher, 
Ringelsheim and Leiningen arrived at Horiz ; the 
latter forming the rearguard had been molested on the 
march by a few squadrons of Prussian Guard Lancers. 
The Saxon Corps arrived at Smidar and with them 
the Austrian cavalry division Edelsheim, which had, 
without orders, left the I Corps after the combat at 
Oitschin instead of covering its retreat : even if this was 
partly the fault of the negligence of the corps command, 
the division could easily have rejoined the headquarters 
of the corps early in the morning, and taken up its 
proper place and duties with the rearguard ; their 
presence was not wanted by the Saxons, who had suf- 
ficient cavalry with them. 

At 11 a.m. Clam Gallas at Horiz gave out the order 
tJiat the troops of the I Corps should be collected and 
reformed by brigades there and at Miletin, that the men 
should be provided with food, and that at 2 a.m. next 
morning the farther retrograde march should be com- 
menced towards Koniggratz. When, however, soon 
after alarming news arrived about the appearance 
of the enemy's cavalry at Wostromer, four miles from 
Horiz, the continuance of the retreat was resolved upon, 
because the troops were not fully formed, were exhausted, 
without ammunition and not fit to fight, and Horiz was 
left at about 1 p.m. There was evidently an absence 
of characters whose courage is not broken by mis- 
fortune, whose quickness of judgment and determination 
EdOMMa in proportion to the danger; for otherwise 
some means, however drastic, should have been devised 



and used to restore order and confidence and to 

the disastrous expediency of flight. For this 

exhausted the troops beyond measure, and they did 

find the needed rest even at Sadowa, but remained 

under arms till the fall of night, as the transport columns 

of the army going back beyond that place kept the 

whole neighbourhood alarmed. 

Thus a panic had been produced by thi 
Comment r , , r „ , 

appearance of a few squadrons of cavalry 

This shows the advantage which under certain circum- 
stances can be derived from cavalry, for " moral im- 
pressions are decisive in war." On the other hand, it 
shows the absurdity of the commanding authority 
wishing to conduct movements from a distance, far 
away from the impressions of the events of the moment. 
If Prince Frederick Charles had been at Gitschin with 
only a part of his cavalry on the evening of the 29th, 
he would have used the last man and the last horse to 
have wiped the Austrian Army of the Iser out of exist- 
ence. Whence has arisen this strange manner of con- 
ducting tactical movements from a distance ? Was 
Schwarzen berg's headquarters in 1813 taken as an 
example worthy of imitation ? The great Frederick 
dictated the marching orders in his tent to the regimental 
sergeant-majors before the night march and attack at 
Soor ; Napoleon, on the evening before the battle of Jena, 
helped to give light to his gunners as they repaired the 
road up to the Landgrafenberg ! 
Retreat ^ ne ^ Corps was concentrated re 
of the Miletin, and the brigades of the I Cc 
North Army whj( , h h&d arfived ther „ m^^^ fl 

Kdniggriitz at 5.30 p.m., whilst the III Corps v 


was then ordered to fall back to Gross- Biirglita. The 
other corps of the army were assembled, as we have 
seen, on the plateau of Dubenetz, but they could not 
possibly remain in this position fronting chiefly north 
and east, as their flank and rear were threatened by the 
approach of the 1st Prussian Army ; nor was it possible 
any longer to attack either of the two hostile armies 
without the oilier appearing in the rear during the 
fight. The army had lost above 30,000 men in the first 
engagements, and the troops were fatigued, exhausted 
and deeply discouraged. Benedek therefore deter- 
mined to take the army back to Koniggratz in the 
night of June 30 to July 1, and he telegraphed to the 
Emperor : " Debacle of the I and the Saxon Corps 
forces me to commence the retreat in the direction of 
Koniggratz. Headquarters to-morrow in that neigh- 

The retreat waa to be executed in four 
columns, and the start was to be made at 
1 a.m. aa quietly and noiselessly as possible ; but as 
the time taken by an army corps marching in column 
of route to pass a certain point was at the least five 
hours, it would have been more practicable to detail 
at once two army corps, two cavalry divisions and a 
great part of the reserve artillery to remain in the 
occupied position provisionally, to observe the 2nd 
Prussian Army and ta fall back slowly and gradually 
on Horenowes and Smiritz. This arrangement would 
have given time to the first starting corps to get thor- 
oughly reordered and take up well-chosen positions 
without hurry and confusion. On the other hand, it 
wrong to make demoralised troops march at night, if 

it can be avoided. In such condition troops alwa; 
require constant control and supervision, which 
night must, of course, be defective. 

At the same time the Prussians also made 
a^Fauit* miatakes, aa they omitted to reconnoitre, 
scour and seize with their numerous cavalry 
the district on the left bank of the Elbe east of Joscph- 
3tadt. which would have been of the greatest utility 
because the main lines of retreat to Moravia pass 
through that district. The various passages across 
the Elbe near Koniggratz would then have been in 
possession of the 2nd Army directly after or even befoi 
the end of the battle, and the consequences of such 
occurrence can hardly be calculated. As the Gi 
Cavalry Brigade had been allotted to the 5th Army 
Corps, it should have remained already on the 29th 
close to the Elbe, and, together with a brigade of the 
6th Corps near Jaromir, should have carried out the 
observation of Josephstadt and the strip of country 
east of the Elbe as far as Koniggratz ; on the 30th the 
cavalry division should have been added, which on 
that day was perfectly useless at Kaile. It would also 
have been better to have left the 6th Corps at Skatitz, 
or to have moved it to Ryclinowek, than to make it 
inarch to the plateau of Koniginhof. Concentration of 
all forces for the decisive battle is certainly ad van tag* 
and advisable, but the results of the events in the first 
days of campaigning had justified the conclusion that 
each of the two Prussian armies contained a greater 
strength than the whole Austrian army united, so that 
nothing should have been neglected to place the surplus of 
strength in such a way as to deprive the enemy of the 



most important tinea of retreat, and to furce him by a 
rapid advance to such an acceleration of the retreat 
as to turn it into dissolution and dispersal. 

The Crown Prince had certainly resolved to cross 
the Elbe on July 2, but he ought to have done so at 
; when, on the 1st, he should have observed the de- 
parture of the Austriana from their position at Dubenetz : 
correct resolutions must and can only be taken on the 
spot. Surely the North Army had not been withdrawn 
without cause, and it should not have been left out of 
sight for a moment. If the Crown Prince had followed 
up the retreat smartly, it would have been well shattered, 
and the capitulation of the I Army Corps would have 
been the probable consequence ; the Saxons also would 
have been pushed away from the North Army : alto- 
gether greater results might have been achieved than 
were gained by the battle on the 3rd. 

The question has often been discussed, 
on the whether Benedck's retreat to Koniggratz 

Austrian was (, ne correct and recommendable move- 
ment, and has generally been answered in 
the negative with the following suggestions. The army 
should have abandoned the right bank of the Elbe and 
been taken across the river, the passage over which 
was secured by the two fortresses. Behind them the 
Austrian corps should have been posted and the Saxons 
behind Pardubitz, to have given them the chance of 
being put again into order and made fit again to give 
battle. For it is the role allotted to fortresses by 
strategy in the conduct of war, that they should furnish 
the means to re-establish the destroyed equilibrium, to 
seize again the initiative, to resume the offensive— in 

short, to gain time to give battle again under improved 

B. Events on Jdly 1 

With the ^e re treat from the position at Dubenetz 
Austrian commenced at 1 a.m. and was executed, on 
mj account of defective dispositions, in great 
disorder, with the most various cross movements which 
might easily have been avoided, for time and space are 
elements subject to calculation. Benedek, with his 
staff, started from Dubenetz at 2.30 a.m. and rode via 
Horenowes and Chlum to Koniggratz. Now already lie 
had lost all confidence in himself, his staff and the army 
in general : he could no longer deceive himself in that 
he was lacking the most essential attributes of a great 
leader ; the incapacity of the chief of his staff was quite 
evident, and what could be expected of an army which, 
composed of the most various nationalities and therefore 
wanting in close cohesion, was deficiently armed, badly 
trained and even more badly commanded ! 

At Koniggratz Benedek found Colonel 
B Advice' S Beck^of the Adjutant -General's Staff, sent 
from Vienna to take personal observations 
of the condition of affairs, and a telegram from the 
Emperor, which expressed His Majesty's confident belief 
that, in spite of the news that the retreat to Koniggratz 
had become necessary, the Commander-in-Chief's ener- 
getic command and control would preserve order and 
soon obtain favourable results. Benedek sent to the 
Emperor at once the following historical message : 
" Urgently request Your Majesty to conclude peace t 
any price ; catastrophe for army unavoidable , Cutout 


Beak returns at once." Benedek received t lie following 
telegram in reply : '* Impossible to concludo peace. I 
command— if it is unavoidable — to commence retreat 
in the greatest order. Has a battle taken place ? " 

Benedek had thought that better conditions of peace 
could be obtained before a great defeat, which was 
fairly certain, than after having sustained it; but he did 
not know the Court, still less all the different contending 
interests which were there at work. Only when, so to 
say, the Prussian bayonets could be seen from St. 
Stephen's spire, and when it became evident that with 
an energetic, truly military conduct of operations on 
the part of Prussia, Vienna and Pesth might fall almost 
simultaneously, which would have rendered the further 
existence of the dual monarchy uncertain and dependent 
on King William's pleasure, only then were the authori- 
ties in Vienna induced to give in. 
Btnedck's At 11 p.m. Benedek sent to Vienna the 
Unvarnished following telegraphic report : " The VI and 
eport the X Corps have suffered tremendously, the 
VIII also considerably; the I Corps, as I personally 
verified to-day, and the Saxon Corps partly, ha vesuffered 
much, and require several days to reassume complete 
order ; the IV Corps also has lost. Thus out of eight 
army corps only two are intact, and that without having 
fought a general battle, after mere partial engagements ; 
these two corps, as well as the reserves of cavalry and 
artillery, are much fatigued. The great losses are to be 
attributed to the fire of the needle-gun, the murderous 
effect of which has made a deep impression on every- 
body. All these facts and considerations forced me to 
fall back in this direction. On the road I found the 

immense transport of the army, which could no longer 
be placed far enough back ; and if under these circum- 
stances an energetic attack had been or were to be made 
by the enemy, before the I and the Saxon Corps are 
again solidly reformed, the result could not but be a 
disaster. Fortunately the enemy have not been press- 
ing to-day till this hour, so that I shall let the army rest 
to-morrow and send off the transport in the front of tl 
retreat ; but I cannot remain here longer, for on 
following day already there would be scarcity of 
ing water ; therefore, on the 3rd, 1 shall continue tl 
retreat on Pardubitz. If I am not overtaken ai 
headed off, if I can count again on the troops, and if an 
opportunity offers for an offensive com iter- stroke, 1 will 
undertake it ; but otherwise 1 will endeavour to bring 
the army back to Olmiitz in as good a condition 
pus,sible, and to execute Your Majesty's orders as far 
it is within my power, and certainly with absolute 
Comment an ^' le ^* cfc mentioned in this telegram, ti 

Prussian the enemy had not been pressing, 

plainly the faulty inactivity of the Prussian 
cavalry, whieh could have obtained immense successes 
even in Benedelt's opinion. In connection with these 
circumstances we may be allowed the following remarl 

In the history of the war written by the Milit 
Historiographical Department of the Prussian Genei 
Staff, we find the astonishing statement that the Prussian 
chief command remained in ignorance of the occupation 
of the plateau of Dubenetz by the bulk of the Austrian 
army, as well as of the hurried retreat of the 
that position. How can this pretended ignorance 





le latter from 
ignorance be 



reconciled with the short artillery duel across the Elbe 
on June 30, which surely was sufficiently realistic to 
have attracted attention to the Austrian forces on the 
right bank of the river ? If the departure of the Aus- 
trians remained a secret to the Prussian outposts, no 
small fault must be found with the careless way in which 
reconnoitring must have been done. 

The account goes on to say that it was surmised that 
the main forces of the Austrians were in a position 
behind the Elbe, with the fortresses Josephstadt and 
Koniggratz on the flanks : the correctness or fallacy of 
this surmise could easily have been ascertained by a 
business-like, appropriate employment of the cavalry ; at 
almost every step in the process of these events one can 
see, how little the use of this arm was known and appre- 
ciated by the generals in command. 

In the 2nd Prussian army the 1st Army 

Armies" ^'-orps was sent from Arnau to Ober-Prauss- 
nitz, on the right bank of the Elbe, only 
three miles to the west of it, whilst the Cavalry Division 
was left at Neustadt instead of being at once pushed 
forward to Burglitz. Only an advanced guard was sent 
forward into the abandoned position at Dubenetz ; the 
6th Corps was brought to G radii tz close to the 5th. 
The divisions of the 1st Army marched at 3 p.m. to a 
line abreast of Miletiu and Horiz, the Elbe Army reached 
Hoch-Wesely, the Land wehr Division remained at Juiig- 
Bunzlau. All these movements were wanting in assur- 
ance and decision. Probably orders were awaited 
from the King's Headquarters, now transferred to Castle 
Sichrow, north of Munchengratz, where the impending 

ival of the French ambassador was already an- 

nounced. This warning of immediate diplomatic inter- 
vention ought to have eaused increased vigour and 
intensity of military activity. 

0. Events on July 2. 

-On Colonel Beck's return to Vienna the 
Austrians. Emperor ordered the Generals Krizmanic, 
Changes in Director of Operations, Clam Gallas, com- 
manding I Army Corps, and Henikstein, 
Chief of General Staff, to be relieved of their functions 
and to be sent back to Vienna, although Benedek had 
meanwhile despatched the following telegram : " As 
Colonel Beck has probably reported, Krizmanic is not 
equal to his task. Can only think of Baumgarten to 
replace him. Request authority to make him director 
of operations and to give Krizmanic command of 
brigade." In reply to the Emperor's telegram, Benedek 
again wired as follows : " Before executing order ven- 
ture following proposal : Henikstein to command I 
Corps, Baumgarten chief of general staff, Iiingelsht 
to be detached to III Corps." The affair was settled by 
a final message received late in the evein'ng, repeating 
the order of recall of the three generals, and granting the 
request about Baumgarten and Ringelsheim. 

From this correspondence it is evident that 
Benedek was without any power in the army 
entrusted to his command : he was a figurehead directed 
by the Adjutant-General Genneville, and his proposals 
were simply neglected and sharply refused. But Mahan 
says : " A government can act absolutely only through 
thegcneral-in-chief ; if theydonottake him into 

ly through 
to account, 

r act over his head without removing him from his 
command, disaster will follow. Nothing is more 
damaging to the affairs of state than petty personal 
conflicts and paltry intrigues." 

t is true the Austrian Government was in a difficult, 
though self-created situation. Already after June 28 it 
should have been evident that Be nedek's capacities did 
not suffice for his task, after they had taken the itl- 
ad vised step of removing Archduke John from his side. 
Now, if they wanted to uphold him in the chief 
Wmnwod, they ought to have sent the Archduke back 
to him as chief of the staff, as he could then he spared in 
Italy afterthe victory of Custozza, and invested him with 
absolute full power to be able to check the increasing 
disorder in the army. But if they wanted to replace 
Benedek, they ought to have telegraphed to Archduke 
AJbrecht to hand over the command of the South Army to 
General Maroiciz, to come at once by special to take over 
the command in the north and to bring John with him. 
But the moat unsuitable line of action was to leave 
Benedek in his position, and at the same time to humi- 
liate bim by the refusal of his proposals, which would 
show plainly to his numerous enemies, that his power 
was gone, and invite every donkey to give the dead lion 
a parting kick. 

In accordance with the orders issued on 

°Troops° fc ' le previous day, the troops did not leave 
their position on the 2nd. and in the after- 
noon, after receipt of the telegram ordering the suspen- 
sion and removal of the three generals, Benedek reported 
to the Emperor : " The army remains to-morrow in the 
position near Koniggriitz ; the one day's rest and the 



copious good food have had a good effect ; hope not to 
need further retreat." 

This decision would lead one to surmise that Benedelc 
had become sick of the whole business and meant to 
have the wishcd-for battle, although he foresaw that it 
would spell defeat. 

At4 p.m. the orders for the following day were issued, 
which informed the army that they would remain in 
their camps, and pointed out the various bridges by 
which the Elbe would be eventually crossed above and 
below Koniggriitz : passing through the fortress wa3 
forbidden. The army was encamped in the north- 
western quadrant of a circle of seven miles radius : the 
Saxons on the left dank at Ncchanitz, Lubno and Prim ; 
the HI Corps and the III Reserve Cavalry Division at 
Sadowa ; behind them the X and the VI Corps with 
the II Reserve Cavalry Division at Lipa and Wsestar ; 
farther tu the right the VIII, IV and II Corps between 
Nedolist and Trotiua, with advanced guards at 
Maslowed and Horenowes ; the I Corps with the I 
Light Cavalry Division at Kuklena, the Reserve Ar- 
tillery at Nedelist. 

On the evening of the 1st the army had still been in 
the greatest, disorder : it was hardly known, where the 
various corps were and in what condition. Reports had 
to be awaited, which, of course, only came in during the 
night and during the course of the morning ; then, about 
noon, Benedek addressed a meeting of commanding 
generals on all kinds of general subjects, and expressed 
the hope that the army would have a few days to rest 
and to regain confidence : not a word about any decided 
plan ! And yet, at 3.30, he had evidently made up his 



mind not to avoid the decisive battle, which he himself 
had warned against as probable catastrophe. 

At 11 p.m., that is after the receipt of the 
Battle" Emperor's last telegram confirming his de- 
cision about the three generals, Bencdek 
issued the following disposition for battle, which was 
sent to the commanding generals at 2 o'clock in the 
morning :— 

" To judge by movements of the enemy an attack 

may be expected, which would in first line be directed 

against the Saxon Corps. To meet this eventuality, 

ill'.- fritlitwing dispositions are herewith commanded : — 

" 1. The Saxon Corps occupies the heights of Popowiz 

and Tresowiz. 
" 2. To the left of it the I Light Cavalry Division. 
" 3. To the right of it the X Corps. 
" i. The III Corps to the right of the X to occupy 

the heights of Lipa and Chlum. 
" 5. The VIII Corps will form the support to the Saxon 

Corps and be posted behind it. 
" 6. The IV Corps takes post to the right of the III 

on the heights between Chlum and Nedelist. 
" 7. The II Corps occupies the extreme right wing. 
. The VI Corps to be concentrated on the heights 

near Wsestar, the I Corps at Rosniz. 

. The General Reserve is composed of the I and 

VI Corps, the five Cavalry Divisions and the 

Army Artillery Reserve, which takes position 

behind the I and IV Corps ; these troops are 

at my exclusive disposal. 

' 10. I shall be on the height of Chlum. 

"II. Should the army be forced to retreat, the line 



Holiz-Hohenmauth is to be taken withoul 
entering the fortress." 

This disposition implied fighting a defen- 
sive battle without opportunity of moving 
and manoeuvring, with a fortress in the rear which, 
closed and forbidden, hindered a retreat instead of help- 
ing and protecting it. Probably Benedek in liis bad 
temper did not cue what Krizmanie had drawn up, 
perhaps he hardly read it : Baumgarten did not know of 
his appointment til! next morning, when he took over 
duties from Kriznianie on the battlefield. Besides, 
Benedek was not only wanting in the clear perception of 
strategic proportions and relations, but also in the 
tactical capacity of handling large bodies of troops, 
which requires experience besides innate talent. He 
might have acquired it at Verona, where for years he 
commanded 30,000 men ; but he never ordered manoeu- 
vres, at which he should have commanded for practice, 
but was always satisfied with tedious reviews, at which 
he could indulge his love of petty fault-finding. 

The disposition as detailed above was not adapted t 
the actual situation : both wings were liable to be out- 
flanked, therefore the reserves should have been plact 
in a ready position to meet this danger. Topographic- 
ally three points were eminent : Horenowes as point 
iVapjnti of the right wing, Chlum as connecting it with 
the centre, and the heights of Hradek as mainstay of the 
left wing, a good position to cover the road to ] 

The I Corps, with the I Light Cavalry Divisioi 
was on the 2nd near Kuklena ; they should have n 
as well as the VI Corps, directed to Prim and b 



under the orders of the Grown Prince of Saxony. The 
VIII Corps should have been left at the passages across 
the Elbe near Lochenitz, with orders to cross with the 
II Reserve Cavalry Division in case detachments of 
the enemy were to be seen there. On the morning of the 
1st, K i iz manic had ridden with Benedek over the ground 
at Horenowes, and yet he selected the line Chlum- 
Nedelist and had it strengthened by batteries, although 
nobody agreed with him. Being a pure theorist, he, of 
:ourse. placed the reserves behind the centre, although 
ren if the latter had to retire, they could still have 
laintained the line Wsestar, Problus, Hradek, and 
could have used the Pardubitzroad together with Konig- 
gratz for the retreat if necessitated, as long as the left 
wing could hold out. 

Perhaps it would have been most appropriate, if the 
right wing of the Austrian army (two army corps, two 
cavalry divisions and two divisions of the artillery reserve) 
had been ordered to defend the line Langenhof-Chlum- 
Horenowes, and in case of necessity to retire behind the 
Elbe and to hold the line between the two fortresses. The 
left wing, under the orders of the Crown Prince of Saxony 
(two army corps and two cavalry divisions), could then 
have taken up a position round Nechanitz, with the line 
of retreat to Prelauc ; the centre, consisting of four army 
corps, could have been posted on the heights of Problus 
and Hradek, with line of retreat on Pardubitz : its right 
wing would have been covered by Koniggratz. To 
facilitate an eventual retreat, bridges could have been 
thrown across the river below the fortress, by which a 

tarmy corps could quickly reach the road to Holic. 
means of thus placing the chief position more to the 



west, the distance between it and the 2nd Prussian Army 
was so much increased that, after taking Horenowes, the 
latter would probably only have taken up a position on 
the Elbe above Koniggratz, and the 1st Army would 
scarcely have taken the heights nf Pro blus- Prim- Hradek 
before the evening. The Austrians would probably 
have been beaten all the same, but their defeat would 
perhaps not have been overwhelming. 

The crisis of the war lay in Benedek's resolution to 
accept the battle on the 3rd, yet it was by no means the 
result of tactical or strategical considerations, but was 
caused by the explosion of the latent conflict between 
him and the Adjutant-General. In a way Benedek had 
been morally forced into this resolution, and the attempt 
to carry out a momentous and doubtful undertaking 
which the commanding gBneral considers unwise, is likely 
to fail in most cases. Benedek had received the pro- 
mise that his measures would not be interfered with, but 
it was not kept. The man who has to do the work, and 
is responsible for it, should have full power to act ; thus 
it was in the Roman Republic, and Wellington, in the 
Peninsular War, held the same position as a Roman con- 
sul, being political head and master of his army. In 
Austria, with her inveterate system of general mistrust, 
only the Emperor or a favourite archduke could com- 
mand the army in the field without disastrous frictions. 

If Benedek's proposals to the Emperor had been 
accepted and authorised, he would probably have given 
at once the order for the different corps to begin the 
retreat at two o'clock in the morning, and the Prussian 
armies would have found the district unoccupied by 
troops, except a few weak rearguards ; then the mistake 



would have become evident, which wag made by the 
generals commanding the two armies in neglecting after 
June 29 to utilise and profit by the favourable situation 
in which they were then placed. 

The King's Headquarters were established 

at the at Oitschin in the morning of July 2. The 
Prussian General Staff supposed that the Austrian 
army had been withdrawn behind the Elbe, 
and, acting upon this surmise, orders were issued that 
General Herwarth with his three divisions should move 
on Chlumetz to reconnoitre towards Prague, and to 
secure the passage across the Elbe at Pardubitz ; that 
the other corps of the 1st Army should take up a line 
through Horiz, pushing a part of the left wing forward 
to Sadowa. The 1st Army Corp. 1 ) was to move by 
Mile tin to Biirglitz, the other corps of the 2nd Army to 
remain on the left bank of the Elbe and to reconnoitre 
towards the Anpa and the Mettan (sic .'). If it should 
be found, that a concentric attack on the supposed posi- 
tion of I he enemy between the two fortresses would 
meet with excessive difficulties, or if the Austrian army 
should have left that neighbourhood altogether, the 
general advance towards Pardubitz would be continued. 
Both army commanders were to send every evening 
officers to the Headquarters to receive the orders for the 
following day. 

The last proviso seems to show that there was no 
intention to act rapidly and with vigour. 

However, before these orders were despatched, reports 
came in from the advanced guards of the 1st Army 
which rectified the suppositions about the position of 
the Austrians and j usiilied the surmise, that at least^four 

Austrian corps wore still behind the Bistritz, whereupon 
Prince Frederick Charles determined to attack them on 
the following day, and sent orders to General Herwarth 
to march on Ncehanitz as early as possible with all 
available troops ; he also ordered his own six divisions 
to be at '2 a.m. on the two roads leading to KoiUggrSt*, 
ready to attack the position on the Bistritz. The Prince 
also sent a letter to the Crown Prince informing him of 
his intention for the next morning, and requesting him 
to advance from Kiiniginhof towards Josephstadt on 
the right bank of the Elbe with one or more corps, t 
to secure the left wing of the 1st Army. He mentioned 
that his request was prompted by the fact that he did 
not expect a timely arrival of the 1st Corps on account 
of the distance it had to cover, and by the firm supposi- 
tion, that no strong hostile forces would be eneountere 
on the Aupa and the Mettau. 

The Crown Prince received the letter at 2 a.m., and 
ordered the 1st Corps to proceed via Mile tin and Gross- 
Biirglitz to the support of the 1st Army ; the other three 
corps were to act in accordance with the previous re- 
ceived royal instructions. 

Prince Frederick Charles also sent the Chief of his Staff 
to Gitscliin to obtain the King's approval of his disposi- 
tions, and to report the information received at the 
Prince's headquarters. The King determined at once — 
11 p.m.— to attack the enemy west of the Elbe with all 
forces available, whether the whole Austrian army was 
to be encountered or only a considerable portion of it. 
In consequence orders were sent to the Crown Prince to 
advance without delay with all hia forces against the 
right flank of the enemy. Notification was transmitted 



to General Bonin at the same time, warning him to hold 
his corps ready to move at the first intimation from the 
Crown Prince, or to act independently according to cir- 
cumstances. The Crown Prince received the orders at 
4 a.m., but owing to the distances separating the corps, 
some could not start before 8 a.m., so that all these forces 
could not be expected to give any effective assistance 
before noon. 


The Battle op Koniggratz — July 3 

Prince Frederick Charles had gone at 
Jtions 1 "^ an1- *° Milowitz, where he received at 

B.45 news from General Herwarth, that he 
would be near Nechanitz between 7 and 9 o'clock with 
thirty -six battalions. Thus the co-operation of all 
Prussian forces was assured, for we have seen that orders 
to the same effect had been sent to the 2nd Army. 

Under these circumstances it seemed advisable to 
occupy the enemy in front without waiting by the 
1st Army, to draw on and contain his forces so that the 
double flank attack planned against him could be com- 
pletely executed. Therefore, at 6 a.m., the Prince 
ordered a forward movement of hia whole army, so as 
to occupy a convenient position near the Bistritz : the 
real attack w&3 not to be hurried on, as the corps of the 
2nd Army had to march, ten to thirteen miles before 
they could join in the fighting. The 8th Division was 
to advance towards Sadowa, the 2nd Army Corps 
abreast with and to the right of it ; the 5th and 6th 
Divisions were to follow the 8th as reserve by the sides 
of the highroad on which the artillery reserve was to 

follow ; the Cavalry Corps was to take position behind 
the right wing of tlie 2nd Division, and was to establish 
connection with the Elbe Army ; the 7th Division was 
to advance north of the 8th, as soon aa fighting should 
begin at Sadowa, and to support it according to cir- 
cumstances. Thus at (i a.m. the columns of the Elbe 
Army and of the 1st Army were all advancing towards 
the Bistritz. 

At this time the order to march had in the 2nd Army 
only been communicated to the Guards Corps and the 
5th Corps ; the 1st Corps had been ordered at 5.45 by 
its commanding officer, to get at once ready for an 
advance in the direction of Sadowa ; but the 6th Corps, 
ready in its bivouacs east of Gradlitz to start on the 
first received orders for an advance on Josephstadt, had 
not then received the new orders which directed it to 
march on Welchow. 

Strong detachments of the Austrian troops 

Positions ' liK ' ^ cen I' us hcd forward to and beyond the 

Bistritz as advanced guards and outposts, 

and occupied the following positions ; — 

On the extreme left Alt-Nechamtz, Neohanitz and 
Hradek were held by one battalion each of the Saxon 
Corps ; to the north of Nechanitz the outposts of the 
X Corps held the right bank of the Bistritz ; one 
brigade of the 111 Corps was at Sadowa, and Cistowes 
was held by one of its battalions ; the line from the 
Bistritz to Benatek, Horcnowes and Racitz, including 
the wood in front of Maslowed, was held by detach- 
ments of the IV Corps, and on the right, as far as the 
Elbe at the village Trotina, behind the river of that 
name, were the troops of the II Corps, whilst < 

cavalry division had been left north of the river, 
covering with its outposts the extreme right wing. 1 

At 8 a.m. King William arrived on the 
theCentre ne 'g Qtr °f Dub an ^ gave the order to force 
the passage of the Bistritz. 
To prepare the attack 100 guns gradually opened 
fire, which at 9 o'clock was replied to by about the 
same number of Austrian guns ; by &.30 more tlian 
300 guns were engaged. The 7th Division advanced on 
Bcnatok, and about the same time the 8th Division 
crossed the Bistritz at Sowetitz and took the Skalka 
wood, whereupon the Austrian advanced detachment 
retired out of Sadowa, so that by 10 a.m. the whole 
III Corps was in position between Lipa and Chlum : 
the prodigious fire of its batteries forced the 8th Prussian 
Division to seek protection in Ober-Dohalitz and in 
the Hola wood. About the same time the 2nd Prussian 
Corps had arrived at Mzan and Zawaldica, and placed its 
eight batteries on the slope south-west of Mzan ; the 3rd 
Division formed up in front of Mokrovaus, Dohalicka 
and Unter-Dohalitz, on the right of the 8th Division, 
whilst the 4th was posted behind the 8th in the Hola 
wood. The brigades of the X Austrian Corps now 
evacuated the villages on the Bistritz, and by 10 a.m. 
retired into the main position at Langenhof, so that by 
10.30 the Xand the III Corps were assembled about 
Langenhof, Lipa and Chlum, where 160 guns were 

' Parts of the Austrian position were artificially .- Irons; the ned by 
five batteries — two north of Nrdelist, three from north-past to west 

BfCbJ byabattiaon the edgi - of several wood*, «nd by a number 

of fire trenches ; the wentem portion* of the villages of Lipa and 
Chi ii in h.i'l alf-o bean put into a atkte of defence. The forces engaged 
in the battle were 300,100 Austrian! (including 22,000 Saxons), and 
BBOJM Prussians. 

keeping up a steady fire against the Prussian batteries : 
this lasted for a considerable time, until about 12 o'clock 
the Princeordered the 5th and 6th Divisions to cross the 
Bistritz in order to ensure the occupation of that 
position. But by that movement six divisions were 
massed on a line of only 7,000 paces' length, which 
gives about ten men per pace, a depth which caused 
very heavy losses from the Austrian artillery fire ; no 
advance could be made against this fire, and at 1 p.m. 
the position seemed so dangerous, that a retreat across 
the Bistritz was seriously thought of. 
Events on At 8.30 the 7th Prussian Division had 
the Right arr ived at Benatek with a cavalry brigade 
Austrian , , , ■ , . 

Wing till protecting the left wing, and its four bat- 
a p.m. teries had opened fire against the brigade of 
the IV Austrian Corps, which was posted south-east of 
Maslowed, and held the Swiep wood, south of Benatek 
and Horcnowes, occupied by advanced battalions. 
When General Festetic saw the direction of attack 
assumed by the 7th Division, he sent two more batta- 
lions into the wood ; before arrived, four Prussian 
battalions had attacked, and as two battalions of the 
III Austrian Corps had just then been taken towards 
Chlum, two battalions of the attack occupied Cistowes, 
the other two got a footing in the western part of the 
wood. The remaining battalions of the Austrian 
brigade Brandenstein were now sent forward to retake 
the wood, wliich they failed to do, as the Prussians 
had been reinforced by two battalions : the Austrian 
brigade retired to Maslowed. 

Instead of giving up the wood, the possession i 
which was not necessary for maintaining the ] 

possession of 
the position 



Chlum • Naslo wed -Horen owes, which Festetic had occu- 
pied with his corps instead of the line Chlum-Nedelist 
prescribed by the Chief of the Staff, the IV Corps and 
the II as well were now employed in attempts to 
retake it. These did succeed in driving the 7th Division 
out of it, but only when the first divisions of the 2nd 
Prussian Army arrived in tho vicinity of the battlefield, 
and in consequence of the dislocation of the forces 
found the approach to the rear of the Imperial army 
at Racic and Trotina almost undefended. 

When Festetic took up the position 

Comment „ , __ , , , ,. . 

Chlum-Horcnowes, he was under obligation 

to send information to the Chief of the Staff, and no 
excuse can be found for the fact that the IV Corps, 
and subsequently the II. exhausted their forces 
against the Swiep wood, for the object of the order 
placing them so as to face north should have been 
quite evident to them, because on the heights of 
Dubenetz they had had the 2nd Prussian Army in 
front of them only forty-eight hours before. 
Details of '* a doubtM whether the attack on the 
(he Fighting wood would have been carried on in the 
in the Wood tru | y disastrous fashion, if Festetic had not 
been severely wounded and his chief staff officer been 
killed at an early hour, after which his successor in the 
command made two brigades, which at Maalowed were 
still facing north, follow the first two brigades in the 
direction of the Swiep wood. One brigade took 
Cistowes, hut the attack on the forest failed : instead 
of incurring this waste of infantry, the artillery should 
have been ordered to prevent the enemy from sallying 
out of the forest. When the attacks were given 

1 up, 



General Mollinari received warning from Benedek not 
to let the IV Corps advance, as the time for a counter- 
attack had not yet arrived. Nevertheless, he asked 
General Prince Thun, commanding the II Corps, to 
support him, who was posted then between Maslowed 
and Horenowes. Mollinari acted directly contrary to 
orders received, and Thun, who ought to have given 
his whole attention to watehing and patrolling the 
country to the north, was foolish enough to fall in with, his 
requests. In consequence two of his brigades attacked 
the forest at 11.30, and as the Prussians were now 
gradually giving way, he sent another half-brigade 
after them, when the news arrived that strong hostile 
columns were approaching from the north. Now 
Thun received orders to take position between Maslowed 
and Sendracic, whilst five batteries were placed on the 
height east of Horenowes to engage the artillery of the 
Prussian Guards. 

The 7th Prussian Division had lost the 
wood about noon, and had fallen back to 
Benatek, after suffering a loss of 2,120 men in its twelve 
battalions ; there were then in the wood ten Austrian 
battalions and forty-nine around Maslowed and 
Horenowes, of which only thirteen were intact, whilst 
twenty-eight had become practically useless : their total 
loss amounted to 13,400 men, including about 5,000 
taken prisoners. 

For some time Benedek also had known, that rather 
large bodies of the enemy were approaching from the 
north, and it was quite time to bring forward the 
VI Corps and the II Light Cavalry Division in order 
to prevent a catastrophe. 


Advance At 5 a.m. the Crown Prince had Oidsifld 
and Attack that the 1st Cort>s followed by the cavalry 
of the and ,. . . „ ' , ,, ' „ J 

Prussian division HartmaiM should march to Gross- 
A™"? Biirglitz. the Guards Corps to Jericek and 
Lhota, the 6th Corps to Welchow, whilst observing 
Josephstadt, and the 6th Corps — following the fith two 
hours later— to Choteborek (three and a half miles 
north of Horenowes.) 

At 11.15 the Crown Prince arrived on the height of 
Choteborek, observed the fighting on the Bistritz, aud 
noticed that the 7th Division was in argent need of 
support. The 1st Division of the Guards was then near 
Choteborek, the 11th Division (Oth Corps) was, after 
11 a.m., marching up against Racie, and the 12th 
Division was arriving on the heights of Habrina. The 
Crown Prince gave the order that the three divisions 
should take the position of Horenowes, where several 
Austrian batteries were placed : the four batteries of 
the 11th Division at once opened fire on them. 

In the meantime Benedek had planned a 
Counter- counter-attack in the centre towards and 
beyond the Bistritz, but it did not please 
him that his right wing was so hotly engaged 
in the Swiep wood, although its occupation had to 
precede his absurd frontal attack. To carry it out lie 
had brought forward his reserves (two army corps and 
two cavalry divisions) to the foot of the heights of 
Lipa and Langenhof. General Baumgarten, just re- 
turned from the right wing, advised to send one of these 
two corps to (liat. part to fill "the hole in the line of 
battle," and Benedek ordered the VI Corps to march 
up between Chlum and Nedelist, but soon after he sent 


counter-orders to stop that movement. At 11.30 lie 
received a telegram from the officer commanding i 
Josephs tad t, stating tiiat Prussian columns were passing 
west of that place with the evident intention of operat- 
ing against the right flank of the army. Hereupon he 
sent orders to the IV and II Corps to evacuate the 
Swiep wood and to take up the partly entrenched hue 
Chlum-Nedelist-Sendrasitz, in accordance with the 
original dispositions. The execution of this order 
could not but take up much time, as the troops after 
the wood fighting were much acuttercd and mixed Up, 
and Sendrasitz was quite three and a half miles from the 
Swiep wood, nor were the generals commanding these 
corps willing to execute the order, for Mollinari had taken 
it into his head that by beating the 7th Prussian Division 
he was smashing the left wing of the enemy, and would 
be able to roll up their whole line : only after personally 
remonstrating with Benedek did he order Ms corps to 
assemble east of Chlum. Thun also said, he could not 
understand, why they should again fall back into the 
defensive : just then were heard the first reports of (lie 
guns at Horenowes. Benedek now ordered Ramming 
to march with his corps to the right wing and reinforce 
it; this general replied, that he would do so slowly, 
hoping that the order would be countermanded and the 
frontal attack be executed. Then Benedek, contrary 
to Baumgarten's warning that the time for a counter- 
attack was not at hand, actually ordered Ramming 
to stay with his corps, where he was. Benedek was by 
this time so completely out of balance that he really 
did not know what he was doing, and showed plainly 
that he did not possess the qualities which make up 


and distinguish a great commander. Soon after, at 
2.30, he received news from the Grown Prince of Saxony 
that the left wing had been obliged to retire. 

Before 12 o'clock eight Prussian batteries, 
th^North P oat *d ftt Zisehjwea, Racic and Ilabrina, had :' 
opened fire against the five Austrian bat- 
's on the dominating height south-east of Horenowes ; 
after 12 they were reinforced by seven more 
10 that then ninety guns were fighting against 
forty Austrian guns. The 1st Division of the Guards 
broke by its advance the flank march of the IV and 
II Corps moving into their proper position, took 
Horenowes at 1 o'clock, then advanced through the 
wood against the artillery position, and forced the 
Austrian batteries to retire. 

The 6th Corps took Racic and the western edge of 
the Horickaberg without difficulty, as the defending 
brigade of the II Austrian Corps was posted between 
Sendracic and Lochenic behind the Trotinka stream. 
This brigade, soon outflanked on the left, retired to 
Lochenic ; then three battalions were posted in this 
village, and the other battalions retired behind the 
Elbe ; the 2nd Light Cavalry Division took up a position 
to the west of Lochenic, whilst the 12th Prussian 
Division occupied Sendracic at 2.30. Another brigade 
of the II Corps, on its return march from the Swiep- 
wald, had not the time to get into proper order, and 
reaehrd the line of trenches north of Nedelist with 
only two battalions, which, however, soon retired from 
that position. The 3rd Brigade of the same corps was 
attacked on the return march by a cavalry brigade, 
but repulsed the charge and got to Nedelist ; the 4th 

Brigade, somewhat protected by the fire of three bat- 
teries which had onKmbered near Maslowed and were 
attracting the fire of the Prussian artillery on the height 
of Horenowes, reached the heights so nth -east of 
Maslowed, and finally Nedelist at 2 o'clock. The II 
Corps by this time was scarcely any longer in a fit- 
condition to fight. 

Of the IV Corps, one brigade was then at Oistowes, 
fronting towards the Swiepwald, a second brigade in 
the line of trenches north of Chlum, with two battalions 
of the II Corps close to its right, the other two brigades 
north of Rosberic : near them to the south-west eight 
batteries of the Artillery Reserve had taken position. 
Two brigades of the III Corps were north of Rosberic 
and in Chlum ; farther to the west there were stall the 
lines of its two other brigades and of the X Corps, 
with two reserve corps and two cavalry divisions behind 
them. The front of the Austrian right wuig wss then 
6,000 paces, that of the centre 4,000 paces. 

Opposite to the right wing the front of the 6th Prussia! 
Corps and of the 1st Guards Division extended froi 
Trotinka hy Scndracic and Maslowed, where tweb 
batteries were now in position against the Swiepwald, 
which was now again occupied by the 7th Division. 
Events on ^? orders received at midnight, 

the Left position of the Saxon Armv Corps had 

wing r 'rom fixed on *■ rkl £ e of hi,U " M * t ° f Po P 01 
8 a.m. till and Trcsowic, but when early in the morn 
3.30 p.m. j^ j t wag reronnn it rol | i it was found not 
be favourable to the placing of a complete army col 
on account of limited lateral communications, wl 
the ridge farther east, between Nieilcr-Priin and Prubb 



wemed well suited for the purpose. The Saxon Grown 
Prince asked for permission to modify hie instructions 
accordingly : this was obtained. Only one brigade 
was now ordered to hold the original position, and was 
directed to hold Popowic and Tresovic, as well as the 
bridges. Alt-Nechanitz and Nechanitz were to be held 
also by advanced battalions, but, in the event of an 
attack by superior forces, all the advanced detachments 
were to fall back on the main position. About 8 a.m. 
Alt-Nechanitz, and, after a lengthy skirmishers' fire 
fight, Nechanitz also, had been abandoned by Saxon 
jager battalions, who retired towards Lubno. Before 
retiring they had destroyed the bridges over the Bistritz 
or made them impassable, but General Herwarth, curi- 
ously, was satisfied with repairing the one at Nechanitz 
instead of rapidly constructing several passages : in 
consequence the 15th Division did not cross the river 
till 9.30, and it was 11 o'clock before it was formed up 
for the advance, and its four batteries joined the two 
of the advanced guard on the heights south of Lubno. 
Remark "^e services of the engineers were alto- 

about gether neglected in the Prussian army : 
Engineers ^^ wgre ac ^ UB ]]y ^^j fa #>QHTe. the lines 
of communication. And yet it stands to reason, that 
the place of engineer companies iB with the advanced 
guards, and that, though occasionally they may be 
attached to artillery under special circumstances, they 
should always be to the front, and be at hand to remove 
obstacles, repair or make bridges, work hand mortars, 
etc. In 1870 better use was made of the engineers, 
and in the last war the Japanese have shown that they 
knew the full value of that branch of the service : the 

result of their experience has been that they intend to 
raise the strength of engineers to three battalions 
for each, division of infantry of twelve battalions. 
This certainly expensive development of their scientific 
corps might make ua consider, whether one company 
R.E. is sufficient for the needs of a division of twelve ' 
infantry battalions. 

Attack General Herwartli determined to attack 

by the Pro bins, and with this object directed, at 

Elbe Army u ^ the j 5th Djyjajon ^Jj on6 cava lry 

brigade, via Hradek, against Obcr-Prim, and the 14th 
Division, then still west of Nechanitz, against Problus, 
by way of Lubno and Popowic. To meet this envelop- 
ing movement, the Saxon Crown Prince determined to 
make a counter-attack in the direction of Hradek : it 
was undertaken at 12 o'clock by way of Ober-Prim by 
the brigade of Life Guards (foot), but they were attacked 
in the left flank and forced to retreat. Then brigade 
Schulz, of the VIII Austrian Corps, attacked the out- 
flanking enemy at Ober-Prim, brigade Roth prolonging 
the line. Now the Crown Prince resolved to use also 
the 2nd Saxon Brigade, and to renew the counter- 
attack with all four brigades. It failed again, because 
brigade Schulz, in the centre, came at 1 p.m. upon the 
just arrived 30th Prussian Brigade, was burled back 
by the latter in great disorder, and thus exposed the 
left wing of the Saxon3, in consequence of which the 
2nd Saxon Brigade had to retire ; the brigade Roth 
was also entangled in the confusion and disorder, and 
retired into the Brizerwald. Ober-Prim was taken by 
the Prussians, upon which the Saxons took up a position 
1 By new Array Orders. 



on the plateau of Problus, where ten batteries were 
unlimbered. The brigade Schulz took position to the 
left on the heights of Bur, and the brigade Roth as 
right wing at Roznitz. The brigade Wober at Char- 
busic now occupied the Brizerwald with two battalions. 

But in spite of all these precautionary movements, 
the 14th and 15th Prussian Divisions took Problua 
and the Brizerwald. 

When the general commanding the I Austrian 
Corps noticed that the Saxons were gradually aban- 
doning the heights of Problua, he sent at 2.45 one 
brigade to support them. It arrived near Bor after 
3 o'clock, and attacked Problus, but was repulsed and 
retired towards Ziogclschlag at 4 p.m., as the Austrian 
centre had gone back meanwhile. 

About this time Edelsheim, who had reached the 
heights of Techlowitz with his cavalry division to 
cover the left- flank of the whole army, received orders 
from Benedek to turn to the centre and fill a gap in that 
part of the position : he went there with two brigades. 

The order was senseless, for under the actual circum- 
stances every effort had to be made to secure the line 
of retreat to Pardubitz : the bridge north of Konig- 
gratz should have been barred by other forces. 

On the left wing of the Austrians not much more was 
achieved by the Prussians, who remained almost 
stationary at Problus, and even the 16th Division was 
brought up to Stezirek, where it was not wanted, 
instead of being sent with the whole cavalry of the 
right wing to Kuklena, on the Pardubitz road. General 
Herwarth had stayed at Nechanitz, and did not know, 
what was going on in front of his divisions. 

on the 

During these engagements the Prussians 
" lost 1,657 men out of a total of 25.000 ; the 

Saxons and Austrians, 4,500 out of 36,000. Advan- 
tages were fairly even on both sides, as offensive and 
defensive alternated, but the Prussians seem to have 
shown greater fighting efficiency, as the Allies in superior 
numbers were mostly in strong positions, and were well 
directed by their commander, which was hardly the 
case with the Prussians. 

The Saxon Crown Prince selected the 
position at Problus, which certainly had its 
advantages, though it was not well adapted 
to the strategical circumstances. As the VIIT Austrian 
Corps had been placed under his orders, it would have 
been more appropriate to allot to them the defence of 
the heights of Problus, and to place the Saxons from 
the beginning on the heights of Hradek, even if only to 
serve the purpose of avoiding the always precarious 
fact of mixing troops of different states and nationalities. 
It is true that the frontal extent of the heights of 
Problus is 8,000 paces, and that the VIII Corps was not 
20,000 men strong, but the Austrian reserves were bo 
near that a timely arrival of supports could be reckoned 
upon. On the other hand, tactical considerations also 
demanded this disposition of troops, as the dominating 
heights of Hradek invited the enemy to use them as 
starting and supporting point for outflanking the 
Austrian left wing ; it was likewise demanded in order 
to cover the road to Pardubitz, which was most necessary 
for the retreat, especially if Koniggratz was shut to the 
army, as had been specially stated in the general 



Now, the position on the heights of Problus had been 
chosen on account of its capacity for defence : what 
was done ? Soon after the commencement of the fight 
the Saxon Crown Prince sent forward at first one, then 
gradually four brigades, to attack Hradek, and thereby 
used up his troops, and exhausted them so much that 
the intended defence itself became impossible. The 
normal conduct of the defensive should be, to let the 
enemy's forces get weakened and exhausted by attacks, 
during that time to find out some weak spot, and then to 
make a dash for it, unexpectedly and rapidly, as 
Napoleon did at Austerlitz. 

The conduct of the fighting in the Prussian divisions 
was excellent, but their inaction after taking the heights 
of Problus seems strange ; evidently the general com- 
manding the force was not on the spot, so that the 
energy slacked at the moment, when the greatest efforts 
were demanded. The 14th Division could without 
doubt have held Problus and the woods in front of it, 
ao that the 15th could now have been directed towards 
Kiiklena with the ( avalry Division, followed by the 16th. 
The Elbe Army stopped moving, just when they should 
have secured the most valuable results of their 
suncc^. Who was to blame ? 

About 2 p.m. the 1st Division of the 
Prussian Guards had formed up behind 
Maslowed. took by surprise a redoubt south 
of the village, and dispersed the Austrian brigade in 
that position ; then two battalions pushed into Chlum 
from east and south, and scattered two Austrian batta- 
lions in the village which trer? facing north and west : 
the other five battalions of the brigade Appiauo were 

but 1,00) yards south of the village. But the blame 
for the miserable measures of defence does not fall on 
General Appiano alone, Chlum formed the salient 
angle in the Austrian line of battle, and the protracted 
fight for the Swiepwald, as well as the artillery duel at 
Horenowes, should have made it certain that the junc- 
tion of the two Prussian armies would bo effected by 
the capture of Chlum. But neither Benedek, though 
on the height near the village gazing at Sadowa and 
dreaming of counter-attack, nor any Staff officer, seems 
to have thought it worth the trouble to examine the 
measures for defence taken at Chlum or to observe the 
surrounding ground. Benedek, who at the moment of 
the surprise attack on the village was close to it, ordered 
two battalions instead of a whole brigade to advance 
on it ; the attack failed and could not be supported, 
as the five battalions of Appiano's brigade near Rosberitz 
were not only prevented from advancing by an attack 
of a brigade of Prussian Guards, but were even forced 
to give up that village also. Nothing was now more 
necessary and important than to extend the left wing 
so as to facilitate escape, to the south : the defeat was 
now unavoidable, there could be only the question of 
lessening it as much as possible, but no measure was 
taken in that direction. 
Advance About 1.30 the Prussian Crown Prince 
°i h r0 ° P rt rof * e ^ rom Ch°teborek to Horenowes, which 
Prussian had then been taken, ordering the 5th 
Army Corps, meanwhile arrived, to follow him. 
From Horenowes he rode towards Maslowed and 
Chlum, and on hearing of the capture of the latter 
place (3 p.m.), he ordered the 2nd Division of Guards, 



just arrived at Maslowed, to advance on Chlum and 
Rosberite, and the artillery reserve of the Guards to 
uiilimber on the heights east of Chlum. In the mean- 
time, the 6th Prussian Corps had advanced from 
Sendracic, taken Nedelist, and forced the remnants of 
the II Austrian Corps to retreat behind the Elbe. 

As soon as the attempts to retake Chlum had failed, 
the two brigades of the III Austrian Corps, still at 
Lipa, began to retreat to Langenhof and Roznitz, and 
the X Corps followed this movement. Now Benedek 
gave orders to Ramming to attack the heights of Chlum 
with the VI Corps, which was absurd, for if troopB of 
the 1st Prussian Army occupied the heights of Lipa, 
now abandoned, and followed the retreating III and 
X Corps to Langenhof, the VI Corps in its attack 
would be fired on in flank and rear. When deploying 
his regiiuenls Ramming received a new order, directing 
him to attack Chlum and Rosbcritz : this he did with 
two brigades. Rosberitz was taken, and both brigades 
attacked Chlum, but were driven back, as the advanced 
guard of the 1st Prussian Corps had arrived there in the 
meantime. Once more Ramming ordered three brigades 
to attack Chlum, but parts of one of them were thrown 
into disorder by the retreating battalions of the III 
and X Corps : of course this attack also failed with 
enormous losses, whereupon the retreat of the decimated 
VI Corps was much endangered by the advance of the 
11th Prussian Division against Sweti, whilst the 12th 
Division had already occupied Lochenitz and seized 
the bridge over the Elbe at that place. 

Altogether Bcnedck had but little tactical 
skill, and now he had lost every traces of 




and the 

circumspection. After the loss of Chlum and 

abandonment of the heights of Lipa and Langenhof by 

the III and the X Corps, the following dispositions 

should have been made : the VI Corps to extend 

between Sweti and Lochenitz to cover the right flank, 

the III Corps with the Artillery Reserve to hold Wsestar, 

the X Corps to join the Saxons under the orders of 

their Crown Prince, to take the place of the I Corps, 

which should have marched on Kuklena. Chlum and 

Rosberitz were now no longer of any importance for 

the army, threatened as it was now in both its flanks, 

In the meantime, the I Corps had 

Attempts deployed and tried, upon Benedek's orders, 

to Retake TO regain ikismwiuii ■•{ Chlum and Rosberitz : 

Chlum it i !■ i 

as these two places are in the salient angle 

between the heights of Langenhof, Lipa and Sweti, 
which were already occupied by the Prussians, the 
attack naturally proved a failure. In the twenty 
minutes which this futile attempt lasted, the Austriaiis 
lost, under the heavy converging fire to which they 
were exposed, 270 officers, 10,000 men and 23 guns. 
What would have been the use of the best breech-loaders 
under such circumstances ? 

The fact that, with such suicidal proceed- 
ings, the Austrian army escaped utter des- 
truction, is certainly not Benedek's merit, but the 
result and consequence of the lack of decision and 
energy of action on the part of the Prussian chief com- 
mand. To command troops well means to perform 
with a certain given strength things which it would 
have been impossible to carry out with a smaller 
But here it would have been possible 



.in ii m nuuiU 

smaller force, 
to do much 



more; nay, it can be safely maintained, that it was al- 
most impossible to attain less than the actual result. 

The course which the battle would take could be 
foreseen, and was indeed foreseen by Moltke ; for when 
the Ring began to feel uneasy about noun, on account 
of the advance of the 1st Army being stopped, Moltke 
remarked : " You are going to win to-day not only a 
battle, but the whole campaign. 1 ' Therefore dis- 
positions ought to have been made beforehand to have 
fixed certain lines and limits for the advance of the 
three converging armies, so as to forestall the disorder 
and confusion which could not be avoided under the 

Moltke indeed stated once that it had been intended 
to throw the Austriana on to the Elbe, to cut them off 
from Josephstadt and Koniggratz, and to annihilate 
them if possible. But nothing had been done to bring 
about such a result ; on the contrary, Moltke remained 
perfectly passive all day long. The causes of many 
omissions may be different, but the most important oue 
was certainly Moltke's inexperience in the matter of 
conducting a battle ; in fact, be had replied to a criti- 
cism on General Hess' conduct at Solferino with the 
remark that the chief of the staff had to direct the 
armies to the suitable place for battle, that his 
functions then ceased, and his place was taken by the 
leaders of the troops. If the general is monarch at the 
same time, as was the case with Frederick and Napoleon, 
then the conduct of the battle is naturally wielded by 
him, and all orders emanate from him as a matter of 
course. But the King had no experience as a general, 
and Moltke was too much a man of the world to push 



himself forward too much ; besides, he did not on the 
morning of the 3rd enjoy the same authority as in the 
evening of the same day : only great merits, or at 
least successes, confer authority. 

At 4.30, after the last fatal attempts 
"Battle * fl R a ' nat t'hlum and Rosberitz, all the 
Austrian troops were in full retreat, when 
parts of the 2nd Prussian Cavalry Division attacked 
iffXufjZ. • * De ^ Austrian Reserve Cavalry Division at Stresetic : 
as the Prussian cavalry were greatly inferior in numbers 
at the first encounter, they had to retire to Langenhof, 
but when more regiments came up to the attack and 
the Austrian cuirassiers came under infantry fire from 
Langenhof, they were driven back to Bor, pursued, 
fallen upon by new squadrons, and finally retired to 
Rosnitz. Two other regiments of the same Prussian 
cavalry division came upon the III Austrian Reserve 
Cavalry Division at about the same time and also near 
Langenhof : here also the Austrian horsemen were 
driven back after a sharp encounter ; they also had to 
sustain infantry fire, and when pursued the various 
masses of cavalry continually came under the fire of 
Prussian batteries, some also met with fresh Prussian 
squadrons, so that they suffered heavy losses, were 
much broken tip, and scattered in all directions. 

After these fights all parts of the Austrian army w 
in full retreat across the Elbe, with the exception 
the II and I Light Cavalry Divisions on the right 
and left wing, and the II Reserve Cavalry Division 
in the centre ; these divisions covered the retreat, 
together with twenty-eight batteries, till about 6.30, 
but the artillery duel with about thirty-four Pi 






July 4 

men ; 

batteries did not quite cease till the approach of 

The retreat of the Austrian troops was at first carried 
out in quite orderly fashion, but the bonds of discipline 
and the tactical units got loosened by the restricted 
space on which such a mass of men, horses and vehicles 
were hemmed in : the banks of the Elbe had been 
inundated by the opening of flood-gates, and Konig- 
gratz remained closed to the retreating troops till the 
fall of night ; in consequence many troops were forced 
to break off in the direction of Opatowic and Pardubitz. 
The Prussian army corps did not advance beyond the 
line Sweti- Briza -Charbusic, and were in bivouac for 
the night as follows : The three divisions of the Elbe 
Army, with their reserve artillery, at Problus, Prim and 
Stezirek ; the infantry divisions of the 1st Army at 
Bor, Problus, Wsestar, Lipa, Langenhof, Stresititz, and 
at the wood of Sadowa ; their reserve artillery went 
back to Klenitz, and the cavalry divisions were at 
Rosnitz and Nechanitz. Of the 2nd Army, the 1st and 
5th Corps were about Rosnitz, the Oth at Briza and 
Sweti, the Guards between Wsestar and Langenhof, 
the cavalry at Briza and Rosberitz. The outposts 
during the night extended from Techlowitz by Stosser 
anil Freihofen as far as Plotist. 

The losses of the Prussians amounted to 359 officers 
and 6,794 men ; those of the Austrians and Saxons 
to 44,200, of whom 19,800 were taken prisoners. 

The Austrians lost 160 guns and 5 colours, the 
Saxons 1 gun. The losses of the Austrian army up to 
July 4 were 70,987 men ; those of the Saxons, 3,100 
men; those of the Prussians,, 15,533 men; therefore 


the Austrians had lost more than a quarter, the Saxons 
one-tenth, and the Prussians one-seventeenth part of their 
original forces, and comparison allows us to form an 
opinion on the skill of leadership and the fighting 
capacity of the troops. 

After the battle the Royal Headquarters were again 
established at Horiz,and Moltke, with the General Staff, 
even returned to Gitschin, instead of remaining on the 
field of battle, e.g. at Dohaliczka. This is the greatest 
mistake that can be committed, for only on the battle- 
field it is possible to gain a full view and perception of 
the situation, and to discuss, without loss of time, with 
the generals the actual condition of affairs, and take 
resolutions and order movements accordingly. And 
thus indeed Moltke did act in the night after the battle 
of Gravelotte ! 



The Retreat and Pursuit 

Inactivity Critics have blamed the Prussian chief 
of the command for not having begun the pursuit 

Prussians ftt Qnce Qn fcfle ,j tn ^ ma king the 2nd Army 
march on Prossnitz via Hohenbruck, and letting the 
Elbe Army camp on the left bank of the river at Pardu- 
bitz, whilst the 1st Army, which had suffered most 
severely in proportion, could have followed the forward 
movement on the following day. They say, that by 
doing so the order in the organisation of the various 
units would have been most quickly restored, and that 
by rapidity of pursuit the Austrian army would prob- 
ably have been destroyed, though it had escaped that 

ate in the battle. 

But only the troops of the Elbe Army had been moved 
from the early morning of the 4th, with the intention of 

I separating them from the other corps and thus avoiding 
disorder : they reached Urbanitz and Libcan during . 
the day. In the afternoon the order was given for the 
other two armies to take up a position between Pardu- 
bitz and Podebrad, after the morning had been spent .' 
in making all arrangements which are necessitated by 
a battle of such dimensions — as for the care of the 
wounded, the disposal of the unexpectedly large number 
of prisoners, the bringing up of the supply trains and 


i 7 6 


columns, completing the ammunition supply in the 
regimental transports. 

Again critics have said : " The order to march up 
between Pardubitz and Podebrad was distinctly absurd ; 
the forward march on Briinn should have been com- 
menced with energy on the 4th with the endeavour of 
cutting the Austrians off from Vienna, if they went off 
aside to Olmiitz. It was the duty, and should have 
been the business of the numerous cavalry, never to 
lose the enemy out of sight and to find out the directions 
they had followed. At the Royal Headquarters they 
had no idea of the extent of the victory, but just on 
that account energetic measures ought to have been 
taken all the more keenly for a close pursuit, in order to 
increase the results and prevent scarcity of provisions. 
A few words or verbal messages on the evening of the 
3rd would have sufficed to issue the necessary directions." 

Retreat of ^ ne Te ^ Tea ^ °f * ne Austrians had been exe- 
the cuted in three columns: the right wing column, 

Ausfrians th{j jj Almy (-^ and ft ^ division got 

toHohenbruck in the night of the 3rd, and continued 
its march on the 4th to Kosteletz, with the rearguard 
at Tynist ; the IV Corps had remained near Neu-Konig- 
gratz ; the main column, I, III and VI Corps, with the 
greatest part of the Saxons and the Artillery Reserve, 
took the road to Hohenmauth, a portion remaining at 
Holic ; the left wing column, VIII and X Corps, with 
part of the Saxons and the greatest part of the cavalry, 
had marched to Pardubitz, and its last detachments 
had crossed the Elbe there between 6 and 7 a.m. : all 
these troops left this town by the night of the 4th, 
1 When turned about to face the pursuing enemy. 



part marching for Hohenmauth, there to join the main 
column, the other part, including the Saxons, taking the 
road to Zwittau. 
Choice of ^' le cno ' ce between the farther direction of 
Line of retreat lay between Vienna anil Olmiitz: onthe 
Retreat j^q jjjjigg jq Vienna the army, in its condition 
after the battle, would for certain have dissolved 
itself, unless a halt could be made to re-establish order, 
to reorganise unite, to obtain ammunition and other 
necessaries ; but if that proved possible, one was again 
sure to see the Prussians catching up the fugitives, and 
there was no position north of the Danube, where a 
permanent resistance could be offered, so that all the 
land north of that river would fall into the hands of the 
enemy. It is true, that at Vienna a direct connection 
with the victorious Southern Army would be established, 
whose assistance alone could equalise the enemy's 
superiority; but it could hardly be expected, that the 
Italians would allow of a large portion of that army to 
be free for disposal in the north. 

The fortified camp of Olmiitz offered, at only half 
the distance, a safe place of refuge, where the army could 
again assemble and refit. More than 100,000 men in 
a flanking position could not but create great diffi- 
culties to the enemy's advance towards Vienna, and 
would protect a considerable portion of the Austrian 
monarchy, or force him to divide his forces. Of course 
the flanking position could only be effective, if the army 
could again resume the offensive from it, which was 
doubtful, as the moral condition of the troops hardly 
warranted a renewal of offensive operations. It was 
also doubtful, whether Olmiitz possessed all the resources 

required for the complete refitting and provisioning of 
the troops. However, Benedek decided in favour of 
Olmiitz, and only ordered the X Corps and the greater 
part of t!ie cavalry to proceed to Vienna for the pro- 
tection of that city. 

On July 5 Benedek arrived at Zwittau ; 
July 5°" * ne rear g" ar d of hia right wing column 
reached Wamberg, the centre column Lei- 
tomischl, the left wing column Krouna. 

On the part of the Prussians the cavalry division 
Hartmann passed the Elbe near Pardubitz by fords, a 
bridge at Nemcitz was repaired, and horse artillery 
crossed the river by that means. Hartmann at once 
commenced repairing the bridges at Pardubitz, which 
was next occupied by the advanced guard of the 5th 
Army Corps. The other troops of the 2nd Army halted 
near Hradist and Opatowitz, with the exception of the 
6th Corps, the 11th Division remaining on the battle- 
field, the 12th in observation near Josephstadt. The 
divisions of the 1st Army reached Prelauc and other 
places on the Elbe, and those of the Elbe Army got to 
Chlumetz and Zizelitz, with the advanced guard at 
! Kladrub. 

The field artillery of the 12th Division was ordered to 
bombard Koniggratz from a distance of 5,000 paces, 
but as no appropriate result could be obtained, the 
firing was stopped in the evening. 

As the time seemed to have arrived now to take 
possession of Prague and its resources, the Elbe Army 
received orders in the evening to direct the division 
Rosenberg from Podiebrad to that city, and to occupy 
the passages over the river at Elbe-Teimtz and Neu- 


Kolin : railways and rolling stock were to be protected 
against destruction. It may be stated at once, that the 
division marched via Sadska, and on July 8 reached 
Prague, which was found abandoned by Austrian troops. 
The occupation of this city was of great importance, 
because the railway line, Turnau-Prague-Pardubitz, 
could now be put in use. On the same day General 
Miilbe, commanding at Dresden, received orders to 
march with the division Bentheini via Tepljtz to Prague, 
where he arrived on the 18th. 

The Austrian Headquarters remained 

at Zwittau, the rear of the right wing column 

reached Wildenschwerdt, that of the centre colui 

Leitomischl, the left wing column Policka. 

Advanced Prussian cavalry reported Hohenmauth 
abandoned by the enemy, the 5th Corps reached Holitz, 
the 1st Corps Chrudim, the Guards went through 
Pardubitz and Dasjtz to Zwing. The 1st Army did not • 
move during the day except the Cavalry Corps, which 
marched to Zdechowitz, and a newly formed strong 
advanced guard of six battalions, three cavalry regi- 
ments and three batteries horse artillery, which reached 
Choltitz in the afternoon. The advanced guard of the 
Elbe Army advanced to Elbe-Teinitz, the 14th Division 
to Neu-Kolin, to give eventual support to the division 
Rosenberg marching on Prague ; the other troops went 
into bivouacs between Chlumetz and the Elbe. 

The reports received from the advanced troops had 
now made it certain that the main body of the enemy's 
forces was retiring on Olmiitz, and King William deter- 
mined to follow them there only with the left wing 
army, and to direct the other two armies straight against 



Vienna, in order to bring the campaign t 

It was not the intention to lay reguli 
strong place, nor could it be fully invested without i 
dangerous splitting up of the Prussian forces ; therefore 
the only task of the 2nd Army could be to cover the 
advance of the 1st and the Elbe Army on Vienna. 

It was assumed, though not correctly, that the de- 
feated hostile army had still suflicient fighting efficiency 
to be able to resume the offensive after a short rest in 
the entrenched camp. As it was still numerically much 
superior to the army of the Crown was thought 
that the latter might be forced to retreat. However, 
all the previous fighting should have convinced the 
General Staff that the fighting efficiency of their soldiers 
was much greater than that of the Austrians, and the result 
of the great battle following upon all the previous blows 
could but have had very different effects on the morale 
of the two armies. Anyhow, even if a temporary 
retreat of the 2nd Army should have been necessitated, 
it would have drawn the Army of Olmiitz in the direction 
of Silesia and away from the chief operation, which it 
was necessary to carry out rapidly, so as to appear on the 
Danube before the Austrian Government could draw large 
reinforcements from Italy, which could be done safely 
after the victory of Custozza. The 2nd Army was 
therefore ordered to take up such a position that it 
could observe the enemy and fall back in case of attack 
by superior numbers, or follow him, if he marched oS 
towards Vienna. It would have been much better, and 
more appropriate to the actual circumstances, to have 
taken rapid and decisive action to prevent the junction 



of the North Army with the forces near the capital by 
risking, without hesitation, another battle before the 
disorder, confusion and disco uragement of the Austrians 
could be effaced and supplanted by better conditions 
and feelings. In spite of the great victory, the conduct 
of the operations was still marked by strange, unaccount- 
able timidity and half-heartedness. 

The 2nd Army received the order to advance on 
Mahrisch-Triibau and to establish a line of communi- 
cation with Glatz via Mittenwalde, so that the line via 
Koniginhof passing near the two Elbe fortresses could be 
given up, and the bulk of the 6th Army Corps could be 
drawn from that part to join the other corps of the 

During the farther progress of the retreat and pursuit 
small skirmishes occurred occasionally, in most of which 
numerous Austrians were taken prisoners. 

July a ^ ne * H * J ^ rm y received orders to march on 

Armistice Briinn on the road Policka-Kunstadt, the 
Proposed Elbe Army to proceed to Iglau. On thia 
day the Austrian General Gablenz, persona gralissima 
at the Prussian Court, arrived at the Royal Headquar- 
ters at Pardubitz with " instructions " from the Prime 
Minister, Count MensdorrT, which proposed the imme- 
diate conclusion of an armistice of at least eight weeks, 
at the most of three months. If one takes in consideration 
the actual situation at that time in Bohemia (as well as 
in South Germany), it is hard to believe that the Austrian 
Government had the illusion that Prussia would enter 
upon such proposals. They had already ceded the 
province of Venice to Prance, which offered the chance 
of transferring considerable forces from the southern 


Jul 7 ii 

to the northern theatre of war, and it could hardly be 
expected that Prussia would blindly grant the time in 
which to do this. The proposals were refused by the 

In the course of this day the Austrian 
North Army was assembled at Olmiitz, with 
the exception of the portions which had been directed 
to Vienna. They had obtained a start of twenty-eight 
miles on the 1st Prussian Corps, and of fifty miles on the 
Guards Corps. But although by this uninterrupted 
retreat of about 100 miles they had avoided all serious 
righting, yet it had surely more and more deterior- 
ated the moral and material fighting efficiency. The 
overcrowding also of the camp at Olmiitz could not 
but cause serious difficulties of all sorts. Besides, the 
1st Prussian Army had reached the line Kunstadt- 
Bobrau, and its advanced guard was within one day's 
march of Briinn ; within a few days the last connection 
of the North Army with Vienna could be interrupted 
from Briinn at Lundenburg, and the capital itself be 
then threatened. The 2nd Prussian Army had reached 
the line Mahrisch-Triibau-Landskron, the Elbe Army 
was at Iglau, Wollein and Pimitz. 

The dangers of the situation were now perceived by 
the Austrians, and it was resolved to draw the greatest 
part of the North Army to Vienna, leaving only one 
corps in Olmiitz, instead of leaving the greatest part 
there, in order to operate in the rear of the enemy. This 
change of plan was quite correct, because only a com- 
plete change in the highest command and in the conduct 
of the operations could possibly awaken new hope in the 
discouraged masses, and nothing can be done without a 


■ 83 

certain show of self -con tidence. Therefore, as the newly 
appointed Commander-in-Chief, Archduke Albrecht, de- 
manded the concentration of the army on the Danube, 
Benedek had received the order to send oft by rail to 
Vienna one corps after the other, with the exception 
of one, as before mentioned, as long as the railway was 
open; incase this should be interrupted, he was to march 
on Vienna behind the river March with the troops not 
yet despatched. In consequence the III Corps was 
sent off on the 11th, and was to be followed by the 
Saxon Corps. Benedek fixed upon the line Hullein- 
Hradisch-Ostrau-Goding for the infantry and artillery 
to march to Pressburg, and for the cavalry, which was 
to start last and cover the flank and rear of the marching 
troops, the road Prossnitz-Eisgrub-Walkersdorf, west 
of the March. The VI Corps, which was to remain at 
Olmiitz, was to protect, during the time of the departure 
of the other corps, the railway line from Olmiitz to 
Prerau ; the I Corps was to cover the neighbourhood 
of this place, and for a similar purpose the brigade 
Mondl had already been detached at Lundenburg. 

From all the reports received at the Headquarters 
of the 2nd Army, it had become known that the enemy 
was in such a condition, that an offensive movement on 
his part was not to be expected ; therefore, although 
the despatch of troops to Viemia had not yet become 
known, it was resolved for this army to occupy the line 
Prossnitz-Urtechitz, instead of the line Littau-Konitz, 
which would stop all communication between Olmiitz 
and Vienna on the right bank of the March. However, 
the line of communication with Glatz could then no 
longer be considered secure, which was all the more 

July i 

precarious, as the railway connection with Tumau 
blocked by Josephstadt, and damages on the 
Prague-Pardubitz had not yet been repaired. Thus tl 
troops of the 1st and the Elbe Army could only subsist b; 
a continuous advance into districts which had not 
sustained requisitions. 

There was a small cavalry skirmish on the advance 
Briirm at Tischnowitz, in which Austrian lancers 
driven back by dragoons of the Prussian Guard. 

Archduke Albrecht handed over the com' 

maud of the South Army at Vincenza to 
General Maroicic, and started for Vienna with Archduke 
John, the Chief of his Staff. Briinn was occupied by 
the advanced guard of the 1st Prussian Army, and the 
King's Headquarters came to Czernahora. The ad- 
vanced brigade of the 1st Corps, 2nd Army, reached 
Oppatowitz, Hartmann'a cavalry being farther ahead. 
The advanced guard of the Elbe Army reached Lispitz, 
after the vanguard had had a slight encounter with the 
enemy ; the mainguard reached Mahrisch-Budwitz 
three divisions reached Startech, Trebitsch and Gross 

The Headquarters of the 2nd Army wi 

moved forward to Oppatowitz. The 
vanced guard of the Elbe Army entered Znaim, and 
General Schceler had a temporary bridge made acros 
the Thaya, close to the one destroyed by fire. The 
King entered Briinn, where theSth, 6th and 7th Divisions 
were billeted, and the advanced guard of the 1st Army 
was pushed forward to Modritz. In the evening a 
cavalry patrol, which had advanced up to the 
Olmiitz, reported that they had not found any 

July 13 





the works of 



but that some forces were said to be encamped east of 
the place. 

Archduke AJbrecht arrived in Vienna. There were 
on that day still 92,000 men with 364 guns about 01- 
miitz, 41,000 men with 106 guns on the way to Vienna, 
9,400 cavalry with 72 guns on the Thaya ; the X Corps, 
16,700 men with 56 guns, near Vienna, including the 
Brigade Mondl at Lundenburg. There were also on the 
road from the southern theatre of war 57,000 men with 
120 guns, so that all these forces, if assembled on the 
Danube, would have formed an army of 216,000 men 
with 718 guns. One may think about the chances of 
the continuance of warlike operations as one likes, but 
the safety of the Austrian states seems to have depended 
lees on the doubtful efficiency of this army of the Danube 
than on the actual dissension at the Prussian Head- 
quarters produced by Bismarck's intrigues ; for from 
the date of Count Benedetti's arrival there, all dis- 
positions became marked by uncertainty arid their 
execution defective, a proof of how dangerous it is to 
introduce into the simple military headquarters the 
turbulent current of court cabals 

At the beginning of the hostilities the 

Vienna" Austrian engineers began the construction of 
a vast line of fortifications to form a bridge- 
head at Florisdorf, north of Vienna, which is stated to 
have been completed on July 13, and to have been armed 
with 387 guns. The outer line had an extent of fourteen 
miles — about 30,000 paces — the two reduits forming 
the inner line an extent of together 15,000 paces 
50,000 men were required at least to man thes 

On July 14 orders were issued from I 

Advance Royal Headquarters that the 1st Army 
of the J , ^ „. , , , / 

Prussian wa s to advance on V lenna by the three roads 
Arinies Eibenschutz-Laa • Ernstbrunn, Diimholi- 
Danube Ladendorf, Muschau-Nikolsburg-Gauners- 
dorf, and that a detachment was to be 
directed to Lundenburg to destroy the railway line 
leading to Prerau, taking care to keep intact, or 
even to repair on its advance the line leading to Gan- 
semdorf. The Elbe Army was to advance on the two 
roads Jetzelsdorf-Hollabrunn and Joslowitz-Enzersdorf- 
ThaEeim and send a detachment to Maissau to demon- 
strate against the Upper Danube, near Krems. The 
main bodies of both armies were to cross the Thaya on 
the 17th at Muschau and Znaim. All the pontoon 
columns of the 1st and the 2nd Army were to be sent by 
train to Briinn as soon as possible. 

Of the 2nd Army the 6th Corps reached M. Triibau, 
the Guards Oppatowitz oidy ; but the 5th Corps was 
close to Laschkau, and the 1st Corps approaching 
Prossnitz. The Cavalry Division halted at Kosteletz, 
but its advanced detachments reported " no enemies " 
at Ollschann or south of Prossnitz, whereupon Hartmann 
sent a detachment to reconnoitre towards Tobitschau. 
The consequence was a slight cavalry skirmish at Era- 
litz : the report of it was accompanied by the informa- 
tion that some infantry and artillery of the enemy were 
advancing from Tobitschau. The first reports were 
given to the Crown Prince by General Hartmann in the 
afternoon at Neustift, from where he sent orders to the 1st 
Army Corps to send the same evening one infantry 
brigade with one battery to Tobitschau, f 

li, in order to 



support the advance of the Cavalry Division on Prerau, 

which was to be executed early on the 15th. Jn General 
Hartmann's absence the main body of the Cavalry 
Division was marched to Prossnitz, and the 1st Cuirassier 
Regiment sent forward towards Tobitschau. When 
darkness was setting in, the squadrons came upon 
Austrian infantry formed in a square, which was attacked 
vigorously, but not with great success : the regiment 
was retired to Prossnitz, when more Austrian troops, -, 
coming from fiiskupitz, opened infantry and artillery * 
fire upon the cuirassiers. The infantry encountered 
belonged to the flank-guard of the IT Austrian Army 
Corps, which had started its march upon Goding under 
the following circumstances 

At noon on the 13th, Benedek had re- 
ceived from the Archduke Albrecht this 
telegram : " Have to-day taken over the 
chief command. Order that without contradiction all 
troops shall be started on the march to Presshurg on the 
left bank of the March, to-morrow and on the nest day ; 
ten battalions, one cavalry regiment and one battery are 
to be left as garrison at Olrautz." But Benedek had 
already ordered and commenced the march of four 
army corps on the right bank of the March to Goding, 
where they had to cross the river and then proceed to 
Pressburg via Stampfen. 

All the news received by the Prussian Crown Prince 
during the day made it probable that the greater part of 
the North Army had already left Olmutz for Vienna, and he. 
therefore ordered the 6th Corps and the Guards to march 
on Brunn, as it seemed unsuitable to him to assemble 
bis whole army at Prossnitz. This resolution seems ill 




advised, for the 1st and the 5th CorpB ought to have first 
made sure whether the enemy had really left Olmiitz, and 
in which direction he had gone. If it was found that he 
had gone off to the south, he had to be followed as 
rapidly as possible on the roads to Hradisch and Holies, 
as the main object should have been to gain touch with 
him at last. The distance from Koniggratz to Prossnitz 
is eighty-four miles, which had been covered in eleven 
days : thus the pursuit had not been particularly fast, 
although it had the object of cutting off the North Army 
from the South. 

Combat of ^ e Austrian II Corps had started from 
Tobitschau, Tobitschau at 2 a.m. and got to Krenisier 
J y ' 5 without being molested, the IV Corps like- 
wise, from Kojetein to Zdannek. The VIII Corps was to 
move Irom Olmiitz to Kojetein, and started at i a. 
brigade Rothkirch, with three squadrons, being the 
advanced guard, whilst brigade Wober was to move as 
flank-guard via Kralitz to Niemtschite. When the 
advanced guard had entered Tobitschau, the flank de- 
tachment received fire near a wood outside the place. 
A part of the cavalry division Hartmann and one brigade 
of the 1st Army Corps had arrived there. The Austrian 
flank -guard of two companies, though reinforced by the 
remainder of the battalion, was driven out of the wood 
in which it had taken position. The brigade Rothkirch 
now deployed on the heights north of the town, and its 
battery opened fire on three Prussian batteries ; the left 
wing had begun to retire, when Benedek ordered the 
artillery reserve of the VIII Corps (four batteries) to 
form up west of the road, to silence the Prussian guns. 
They had scarcely commenced firing, when they were 

fallen upon by the 5th Prussian Cuirassier Regiment, 
who took two batteries whilst the other two had time to 
escape. The Austrian infantry soon after began to 

Meanwhile the Austrian flank -guard, brigade Wober, 
had come up and deployed, but when the approach of 
strong columns from Prossnitz was observed, it retired 
on the main body of the VIII Corps, which meanwhile 
had deployed on the heights of Dub. An artillery duel, 
without much result, was then carried on, till the 1st 
Prussian Army Corps appeared deployed for the attack, 
when Archduke Leopold ordered the retreat of his 
corps behind the March, in obedience to instructions, 
which caused him to march to Prerau. An attack of 
eight Prussian squadrons on part of the infantry and 
cavalry of the I Austrian Corps in marching column 
at Prerau was repulsed, though successful at first, and 
they had to retire : they lost 10 killed, 97 wounded, and 
113 horses, but their unexpected appearance and attack 
had produced the most complete confusion in the Aus- 
trian columns, so that they brought back 5 officers and 
250 men as prisoners. The total loss in the day's 
fighting to the Prussians was 12 officers, 235 men ; whilst 
the Austrians lost 1,956, including 1,070 missing. The 
attack of the cuirassiers, wliich resulted in the capture 
of 18 guns, 15 limbers, 7 ammunition wagons, 2 officers 
and 168 men, only caused the loss of 10 men. 
Comment ^ e ^1 Austrian Corps had meantime 
on the marched unmolested from Olmiitz to Leip- 
ituabon f ^ ^ ^ p russ ; an Cojpg na j occupied 
Prossnitz, the Guards and the 6th Corps had arrived at 
Boskowjtz and Lettowitz. By the fight at Tobitachau 

the head of the 2nd Prussian Army had put a wedge 
between the two echelons of the Austrian North Army, 
had forced that part of it marching on the right bank of 
the March to retire behind that river, and its cavalry 
had even crossed it. But the favourable situation thus 
created was not taken advantage of : the general in 
chief command seems to have been blind to the fact that 
he had in front of him the largest and most important 
portion of the enemy's forces, that there was urgent 
necessity not to let them escape, and that he could never 
bring about a more decisive event. It surely was his 
duty to keep in touch with the enemy, and to make full 
use of every favourable opportunity to make an artacl 
on the disheartened enemy's masses. 

The order was given that the 5th Corps and the 
cavalry division Hartmann should pursue the Austrian*, 
and that the 1st Corps should observe Olmutz, but noth- 
ing really was done, chiefly owing to the absence of the 
commanding general from the scene of action : without 
personal exertion nothing can be accomplished. General 
Bonin brought up the 1st Corps at Tobitschau, but 
neglected to follow up the advantage gained, and inflict 
a serious, perhaps fatal blow on the enemy. Instead, 
he retired to the bivouac, and even evacuated Tobit- 
schau, leaving there only a rearguard. He then wasted 
the 16th and 17th by a reconnaissance to Prerau, which 
he might have taken already on the 15th, and he 
destroyed the railway leading to Silesia. 
Advance of During the fight at Tobitschau the 5th 
Other TroopsPruBsi an Corps had occupied Proasnitz, the 
on e 15 Cfua^ia an( j the 6th Corps had arrived at 
BoftkawHx and Lcttowitz. The 1st Army had continued 


the march towards Vienna : the advanced guard found 
the Thaya bridge at Muscbau destroyed by fire, so that 
only one cavalry regiment and two battalions could 
cross the river during the afternoon. The 61h, 7th and ' 
8th Divisions were inarching on Pohrlitz, Gross Njemp- • 
schitz and Klobank, but in consequence of an order- 
from the Royal Headquarters directing the advance 
on Lundenburg, the 7th Division was ordered to march 
to Auspitz, the 5th from Briinn to Monitz, the 8th to 
occupy Goding on the following day, and to secure the 
railway and interrupt the transport on it of the enemy's 
troops. On receipt of this order at Klobank, General 
Hom, commanding the 8th Division, at once detailed 
a detachment of 150 men of the 6th Lancers on the best 
horses of the regiment, together with a section of mounted 
engineers, to proceed to a point on the railway south of 
Goding. They arrived there at 6 p.m., having seen 
two trains pass from the north, removed some rails and 
cut the telegraph : a third train then approaching, 
halted and steamed back ; but when several bodies of 
the enemy's infantry and cavalry came up, the detach- 
ment retired and went back to Klobank, where they 
arrived at midnight, having covered fifty-eight miles 
since they left their bivouac at 3 a.m. 

The appearance of Prussian troops at Goding caused 
a telegraphic order being sent from Vienna to the effect 
that the brigade Mondl, till then stationed at Lunden- 
burg, should destroy the bridge at that place and go back 
to Marchegg by rail the same night. The Elbe Army 
continued the inarch on Znaim, which was occupied 
during the day by the 14th Division ; its advanced 
guard got to Jetzelsdorf, where it. had a slight skirmish 

with cavalry and artillery, who retired after the exchange 
of a few shots. 

On the side of the Austrians the IV and the II Corps 
had arrived unmolested at Zdaunck and Kremsier. " 
When Eenedck, who was with the I and VIII Corps at 
Prerau, as shown above, heard in the evening that 
Goding had been reached by Prussian troops, he gave 
up the idea of continuing his march in the valley of the 
March, and issued the following instructions: the IV 
Corps was to proceed to Mijava via Hradisch and Wclka, 
the II Corps to Neustadt-on-the-Waag via Hradisch 
, , and Strany, the I Corps from Prerau via Slawitschin 
to the Wlar Pass, the VIII Corps to the Hrosenkau Pass 
via Holleschau and Boikowitz; the VI Corps, still left at 
Olmiitz, to Klobank via Leipnik, Meseritseh and Wsetin ; 
the latter was to be followed by about 10,000 Saxoi 
and men of the VIII Corps still remaining at 

The Headquarters of the 2nd Prussian 
Army moved to Prodktz ; the Guards and 
the Cth Corps, continuing the march in westerly direction, 
7 reached Czernahora and Raltz ; the 5th Corps had to 
march to Prerau, and was to be supported by a division 
of the 1st Corps, and its flank to be covered to the south 
by the Cavalry Division : by these wise dispositions the 
heads of the two halves of the 2nd Army were forty-two 
miles apart, and their line was forty-six miles north of 
that occupied by the other two armies on this same day ! 
Prerau was, of course, found abandoned by the enemy, 
whereupon the 10th Division and part of the 1st Corps 
marched back to their bivouacs ; but, evidently with the 
intention of doing something, they destroyed 1,000 

eun j 


Jujy 1 6 



yards of the railway line and blew up the iron bridge 
across a tributary of the March, whereby the connection 
with Upper Silesia was interrupted) contrary to the 
spirit of the instructions from the General Staff ! 

The 8th Division reached Gdding and put a bridge 
aeross the March, the 7th Division occupied Lnnden- 
burg, whilst the specially formed uiinmrril guard of the 
1st Army, under Duke Wilhelm of Mecklenburg, was 
stopped at Eisgrub, five miles to the rear of the 7th 
Division, through the delay caused by throwing a bridge 
across the Thaya. The 5th Division followed the 7th, 
the Cavalry Corps advanced to Feldsberg, the (it I) 
Division to Nicolsburg, the 2nd Army Corps to Dario-.' 
witz, the Headquarters of the 1st Army moved to Paw- 
lowitz, eleven miles north of Lundenburg. The divisions 
of the Elbe Army reached various places round Laa, 
having marched off to the left from their original direc- 
tion in accordance with the latest instructions. 

The Austrian IV Corps had reached Hradisch by a 
night march, and proceeded as far as Ostrau ; the II 
Corps got to Hradisch via Napagedl ; the I and VIII - 
Corps, under Benedek, to Holleschau ; the VI Corps left i 
Leipnik ; the II Saxon Division marched from Oimiitz 
to Leipnik, and continued the march during the night to 

After Benedek had seen himself obliged to 
attain his junction with the army near 
Vienna by the long diiaur across the Little Carpathians, 
he strove to make up for the unavoidable loss of time 
by forced marches, which reflect greatly to the credit of 
the endurance of his army. Thus, in spite of the diffi- 
cult progress along mountain roads, the rearguards of 

July 1 

Ilia corps reached Welka (the IV), Strany (the 
Boikowitz (the I and the VIII), Meseritsch (the VI). 

The 1st Prussian Corps left Tobitschau and went bat 
to its cantonments near Urtschitz, because these had 
been fixed by orders received four days previously (stc/); 
the 5th Corps and the Cavalry Division had a day's rest, 
and were to start on the next day down the MaTch ; the 
Guards and the 6th Corps reached Briinn. Of the 1st 
Army the 8th Division went to Holies, the 8th to Gliding, 
the 7th remained in occupation of Lundenburg ; the 2nd 
Army Corps and the 6th Division marched forward 
towards the Danube ; the Cavalry Corps advanced down 
the March to Hohenau, sixty-three miles ahead of the 
cavalry division Hartmann, with the 5th Corps ! The 
advanced guard, under the Duke of Mecklenburg, went 
south on the Vienna road, but finding Wilfersdorf on 
that road occupied already by the advanced guard of 
the Elbe Army, moved off five miles to its left to Haus- 
kirchen. The three divisions of the Elbe Army reached 
Erdberg, Ameis and Staatz ; the vanguard of its advanced 
guard had a slight skirmish at Schrick with Austrian 

Late in the evening the following orders 
Orders werp ( ' e8 P at «hed from the Royal Headquar- 
ters : " His Majesty intends to make a general 
advance on the Danube; the 1st Army will march on 
both banks of the March, and has the task of preventing 
the retreat of hostile troops from Olmiitz to Pressburg. 
The 2nd Army will assemble along the line Nikolsburg* 
Lundenburg, and will immediately follow the move- 
ments of the 1st and the Elbe Army. The 1st Army has 
to take into consideration, that one of its divisions may 

be ordered to advance from Malaczka, with forced 
marches, on Pressburg, to obtain possession of it and of 
the passage of the Danube, and, if possible, also of the 
places Hamburg and Kitsee." 

On July 12 a council of war had been held 
at the Royal Headquarters at Czernahora, 
in which the question of attacking the entrenched lines 
of Florisdorf, north of Vienna, was discussed ; Moltke 
wanted to get fifty heavy guns from Dresden for the 
purpose of bombarding them, but their transport was 
Calculated to take fourteen days, and thereupon Bis- 
marck stated, that they could not lose so many days 
without dangerously increasing the possibility of immi- 
nent French arbitration proposals, and proposed to 
effect the crossing of the Danube ; finally, the above 
royal order decided in favour of this proposal rather 
against military opinion. As a matter of fact, the lines 
of Florisdorf were armed with old guns, and were so 
extensive that they could not have been effectively 
defended and might have been carried by assault, 
as those of Diippel had been carried two years previously. 
But Bismarck wanted to prevent the triumphal entrance 
of the Prussian army in Vienna, in order to spare the 
feelings of the Austrians, and to facilitate a reconciliation 
in the future. 

it ". . „ In conformity with these orders the follow- 
ing movements were carried out by the 
Prussian troops : on the west of the March the advanced 
guard to Spannberg with the Cavalry Corps on its left, 
behind them the 7th Division at Dreeing, the Gth at 
Zistersdorf, the 2nd Army Corps near Feldsberg ; on the 
eastern aide of the March the 8th Division was pushed 


forward to St. Johann and the 5th to Holicz. The 
? Elbe Army was concentrated on the line Aspern-Wi Iters- 
dorf, with its advanced guard at Gaunersdorf. Of the 
2nd Prussian Army the Guards and the 6th Corps con- 
tinued their march south from Briinn, the 5th Corps 
reached Kojetein, whilst the cavalry division Hartmann 
pushed forward to Kremsier and Hullein. In front. 
Olmiitz the 1st Corps took up the positions reqi 
for the investment of the place. 

The Austrian IV Corps got that day as far as Mijawa, 
the II to Waag-Neuetadtl, the I and VIII were ap- 
' proaching the valley of the Waag at Boikowitz, whilst 
the VI reached Klobank. In the evening the II 
Corps received special orders to hurry on to Pressburg 
in order to support the brigade Mondl, which had gone 
to Blumenau, and to secure the possession of Pressbi 
which seemed endangered by the advance of considers' 
hostile forces from Coding. 

The Elbe Army was to keep during the 
day their position about Aspern and Wilfers- 
dorf, pending the approach of the two corps of the 
2nd Army towards Muschau : the 1st Army also was not 
to advance far beyond the line Malaczka-Gaunersdorf, 
and in consequence its advanced guardand cavalry oal 
took up a line near Schiinkirchen on the Weidenbach ; 
the 8th Division, on the left bank of the March, advance 
to Gross Schiitzen, the iith to Kuti ; the cavalry divisioi 
Hartmann advanced to Napagedl, and was followed 1: 
the two divisions of the 5th Corps : advanced cavalr 
detachments took a large quantity of rolling stock at thi 
station of Altstadt. 

The II Austrian Corps continued its march < 

-nt of 

? one 

road to Pressburg as far as Koztolan ; pitrt of the IV 
halted at Mijawa, part was sent to Jablonitz on the 
road Goding-Tyrnau ; the I Corps went down the 
Waag to Trencsin, the VIII got to Choholna, whilst the 
VI Corps reached Nemsova, leaving one Saxon division 
behind at Klobank. 

New I" "'" l' rLISS ' a ' 1 Headquarters no certain 

Prussian information bad as yet been obtained as to 

ers the number of Austrian troops which had 

»been sent by rail from Olmiitz to Vienna, before the line 
was interrupted, nor was it known, whether a reserve 
army had already been formed behind the Danube of 
the 4th (garrison) and the newly raised 5th battalions of 
the infantry regiments. Again, it was not known, how 
great a part of the Southern Army had lately been 

I brought to Vienna from Italy, whence the Italian army 
was reported to be inactive, and to do nothing to prevent 
such withdrawal of forces from that theatre of war. 
It was therefore not impossible, that by means of using 
ail these resources a large army was already assembled 
near Vienna, which, to save the capital, might sally out 
on the Marchfeld from the lines of Florisdorf. 

These considerations caused the Prussian Head- 
quarters at Nikoteburg to issue the following orders 
(abridged) : — 

" It is the intention of His Majesty to concentrate the 
army behind the Russbaeh, the Kibe Army at Wolkers- 
dorf, the 1st Army behind Deutsch Wagram, the 2nd 
Army as reserve at iSchiinkirchen. 

" In this position the army is to be capable of opposing 
an attack which the enemy might be able to undertake 
with 160,000 men from Florisdorf; further, the army i., 


either to reconnoitre and attack the enemy's entrenched 
lines at that place or, leaving a corps of observation 
opposite the lines, to march off to Pressburg as quick); 

" For this purpose all the available detachments mo' 
to-morrow to the Weidenbach,and send their advant 
guards forward to Wolkersdorf and Deutech Wagram. At 
the same time the general commanding the 1st Army 
has to make the attempt to take possession of Pressburg 
by a surprise attack, and to secure the passage across the 

These circumstantial dispositions, 
altogether the assembly of the whole 
previous to the intended actions, seem to have 
not justified by the circumstances. Prince Fredei 
Charles and General Herwarth could have been shoi 
ordered to surprise Pressburg and the Florisdorf brii 
head respectively, early in the morning of the 21st, with 
all available forces : these two armies alone possessed 
quite enough fighting efficiency to cope with the Austrian 
corps without waiting for the 2nd Army, whose much 
delayed arrival near the probable scene of final opera- 
tions was perhaps partly the cause of these orders for 
assembly and concentration at a time, when circum- 
stances demanded energetic decision and rapid action 
to strike a few blows to influence the conditions of an 
armistice, for which negotiations had commenced some 
days previously to the issue of the order. Materials for 
assaulting the Florisdorf lines and for bridging the 
Danube had been got ready, and were partly already 
Lundcnburg, where the railway line from Drot 
Prague to Vienna was still interrupted. 


' already at 
Dresden via 



The Combat of Blumenau — July 22 

On the 20th the advanced brigade of the 
Movements " Austrian Corps reached Tyrnau, where : 

1,000 vehicles had been got ready to take 
them on to Prcssburg without delay : there they arrived 
at 8 p.m., and were posted aa reserve to the brigade 
Mondl in the Muhlenthal (valley of the mill}. Mondl 
was further reinforced on the 21st by four batteries anil 
some cavalry, besides two jiigcr battalions, and, in the 
course of the following night till 2 a.m., by nine battalions 
of infantry, so that be commanded altogether twenty- 
four battalions of infantry and three of jagera. 

On the 21st the 7th and 8th Prussian Divisions were 
joined at Stampfen, under the command of General 
Franseeky, and at his request the cavalry division 
Hann also was placed under his orders at Mmfhngg ; 
the 8th Division then advanced the same evening as 
far as south of Biaternitz. 

Franseeky, who had under his orders 

eighteen battalions, twenty-four squadrons 
and seventy-eight guns, had found when reconnoitring 

with General Bose, that an attack against the front of the 
enemy's position would demand great sacrifice of life 
on account of their strong artillery position, and had 
therefore determined on a containing attack in front, to 
have the enemy's right wing outflanked, and then to 
join both attacks at the suitable moment. The outflank- 
ing movement was to be made by Beneral Bose from 
Bisternitz and Marienthal through the Miihlenthal into 
the rear of the position of Blumenau ; he started on the 
flank march at (i a.m. At 7.30 Fransecky received the 
order to stop all movements at 12 a.m. noon, at which 
hour the armistice had been arranged to begin* and at 
the same time to inform the enemy of the agreed upon 
cessation of hostilities. 

He now ordered two containing attacks against the two 
wings of the brigade Mondl to be carried out slowly, and 
to be connected in the centre by the fire of ten batteries : 
in the left attack a farm was taken at 1 1 a.m. by four 
and a half battalions, who then advanced against a 
ridge north of Blunienau, occupied by three Austrian 
batteries, without gaining any further results ; the right 
attack failed to make any impression on the infantry 
holding the ground. In the meantime Bose's briga< 
had carried out the flanking movement in two columns 
of three battalions each, and had occupied, after 10 a.u 
the southern slopes of the Gemsenberg, but the hurried 
up troops of the II Austrian Corps maintained the 
position between the Kalvarienberg and the Eisen- 
briindl till noon, when hostilities ceased on both sides : 
the Austrians had lost 489 men, the Prussians, 207 men. 
Fransecky had expected to fight against 
the one brigade Mondl of nine battalions 




rith cavalry and artillery, not knowing that 
' had been reinforced by a brigade of the 
Corps, and that eight more battalions were 
held in reserve, who had only arrived early that 
morning. Under the actual circumstances he would 
have done better, if he had advanced with one brigade 
on Blumenau via Franzhof, and with another brigade 
against the ridge west of Kaltenbrunn ; in fact, he should 
have shortened the length of his whole line so as to 
throw finally his whole infantry into the space between 
the Kunstmuhle and the Danube, which was only 4,000 
paces wide, instead of spreading his 16,000 men over a 
line of more than 12,000 paces ; he might in that case 
have taken the height* between the Schlossberg and 
Kalvarienberg, and might have got to the Danube 
bridge before 12 o'clock : however, this would not have 
been a great advantage, and the losses would certainly 
have been heavier. 

Negotiations had been carried on for several 
days at the Royal Headquarters at Nikola- 
burg, with the immediate object of arranging a cessation 
of hostilities for five days. The chief object was to 
gain time for diplomacy. The course of events had 
constantly changed a situation which could have been 
treated as a base for negotiations. Now, when the 
Prussian armies marched into the Marcbield — the 
plain of Wagram — a new catastrophe was dangerously 
The French Ambassador at the Court of 
1 had arrived at Headquarters on the 13th, and 
1 offered the intervention of his Emperor, and had 
passed several times between the Royal Headquarters 
and Vienna, before he could find the most necessary and 



yet acceptable basis, upon which serious proposals < 
peace could be made. The hostilities were to cease a 
noon on Sunday, the 22nd, and were not to be recom- 
menced before noon of the 27th. The armistice was 
signed by the delegates from the two Headquarters 
at the very time when the treaty was to take effect. 
The cessation of hostilities was on the 26th supplanted 
by the armistice of Nikola burg, after the preliminaries 
of peace had been signed under the pressure of French 

The peace between Prussia and Austria 

was concluded at Prague on August 26, and 

contained the following conditions : — 

1. The Emperor of Austria recognises the dissolution 
of the German Bund, gives his consent to a new con- 
stitution of German states without Austria, recogmses 
in advance the changes in territory which Prussia is 
going to carry out in North Germany, but imposes the 
condition, that the kingdom of Saxony remains inta 
and unimpaired as a member of the new North Germ 

2. He transfers his share of the claims on Sehleswig- 
Holstein to Prussia, on the sole condition that the 
northern districts of Schleswig shall be reunited with 
Denmark, if their population declare their wish of such 
re-incorporation by free voting (cancelled in 1878). 

3. Austria pays to Prussia a war indemnity of three 
million pounds. 

4. Prussia imposes the condition of the surrender 
to Italy of the province of Venetia. 

As by the first condition Prussia was given a free hand 
to annex the territories of her late enemies amongst t 



smaller states of Germany, the following were irrevocably 
incorporated with the Prussian monarchy : the king- 
dom of Hanover, the electorate of Hesse-Kassel, the 
duchy of Nassau, and the free city of Frankfurt. By 
these annexations Prussia was increased by one-fourth 
of her size, and her population augmented from 19 to 
23} millions. 




After the capitulation of the Hanoverian army 
n Juno 29, (lie King and Crown Prince were allowed 
free departure and ! he army was dissolved ; the officers retained 
arms and horses, I lie rank and file had fo give them up, and all 
alike bad to promise not to serve again during the war against 

The three Primiun divisions, amounting, together 
Advance w ' tH c "n' ingenis from the allied smaller states, 
to about 46,000 men, were henceforth called the 
army of the Main, and under the command of General 
Falkenstoin. Their advance into South Germany proved 
everywhere victorious, although tho South German s totes 
had more than 100, 000 men under arms, including one 
Austrian brigade. The passage acroBs the Franconian Saale 
was forced by successful engagements at five places on July 10. 
After another Bma.ll light on the 13th, the Hessians of Darmstadt 
and of Kaasel, joined by the Austrian brigade, were defeated on »„»,.. f £ 
tho 14th at Aachaffonbnrg : this was a rather important light. "j x± f-f„ ^J - 
in which the Prussians Inst 17 officers, 163 men, whilst the Allies 
had 23 officers, 687 men hilled and wounded, besides 21 officera, 
1,738 men taken prisoners. 

Frankfurt-on-the-Mnin was occupied on (he 10th, Darmstadt 
on the 17th; aftor llie defeat of the Wurteuiberg contingent 
and a few more successful engagements with the Bavarians, 
Wuriburg and Niirnlien; wrue oceupii d by the Prussians, after 
which nn armistice wum conohufed, which tonk effect frum 


August 2. Prussia concluded separate treaties of peace with the 
different states which had each to pay a very small war 


The Italian army, nominally under King Victor Emanuel, was 
defeated by the Austrians under Archduke Albrecht at Custozza 
on June 24 : the Austrians lost about 6,500 killed and wounded, 
r >" 1,500 prisoners ; the Italians had 4,200 killed and wounded, 

but also 4,000 were taken prisoners. The defeat of the Italians 
was caused by bad command : two of their divisions close to 
the scene of fighting were not employed, two others had stopped 
on their march at short distance from the field of battle, whilst 
three more divisions gave way too soon and at once broke into 
hasty flight ; hence the great number of prisoners lost by them. 
They had to retreat across the Mincio, but were not pursued 
by the Austrians, whose attention was soon occupied by the 
events in Bohemia. 

At sea also the Austrians were successful : their fleet, though 
inferior in the number and the quality of ships, defeated the 
Italian fleet at lossa on July 20. 



Headquarters of the King 

Chief of the General Staff : General v. Moltke. 
Quartermaster-General : Major-General v. Podbielski. 
Inspector-General of Artillery : Lieut. -General v. Hinderein. 
Inspector-General of Engineers: Lieut -General v. Wassersch- 

1st Army 

Under the Command of H.R.H. General Prince Frederick 

Charles of Prussia 

Chief of the Staff: Lieut. -General v. Voigts-Rhetz. 

2nd Army Corps : 

Lieut-General v. Schmidt 
3rd Infantry Division : Lieut. -General v. Werder. 
4th Infantry Division : Lieut-General Herwarth v. Bittenfeld. 

5th Infantry Division : 

Lieut. -General v. Tiimpling 
6th Infantry Division : 

Lieut -General v. Manstein 
1th Infantry Division : 

Lieut -General v. Fransecky 

8th Infantry Division : 

Lieut-General v. Horn 


Total Battalions. 





. . 13 



. . 13 



. . 13 



. . 10 




Cavalry Corps : 

H.R.H. General Prince Albrecht of Prussia. 
1st Cavalry Division : 

Major-General Hann v. Weyhern ... 21 squadrons. 
2nd Cavalry Division : 

Major-General v. Alvensleben .... 20 „ 
5 batteries Horse Artillery . . . .30 guns. 

Army Reserve Artillery : 

Major- General Schwarz . 
16 batteries 96 guns. 

Total of strength of the 1st Army : — 

69 battalions of infantry. 
3 battalions of jagers. 
74 squadrons of cavalry. 
300 guns. 
3 battalions of engineers. 

2nd Abmy 

Undeb the Command of General H.R.H. the Crown Prince 

of Prussia 

Chief of the Staff : Major-General v. BlumenthaL 

Battalions. Squadrons. Guns. 
14 Army Corps : 

General v. Bonin. 
1st Infantry division : 

Lieut.-General v. Grossmann. . . 
2nd Infantry Division : 

Lieut.-General v. Clausewitz . 
Reserve Cavalry Brigade : 

Colonel v. Bredow 

Reserve Artillery — 7 batteries : 

Colonel v. Oertzen 

Guards* Corps : 

General Prince August of Wiirtemberg, R.H. 
1st Guard Infantry Division : 

Lieut-General Hiller v. Gartringen .13 4 24 










m ^^^ 




Battalion!. Squadrons. Gnus. 
2nd Guard Infantry Division : 

Lieut. -General v. Plonski .... 14 4 24 

1st Heavy Cavalry Brigade : 

Major-General Prince Albrecht (son) — 8 6 

Reserve Artillery — 5 batteries : 

Colonel Prince Kraft of Hohenlohe- 
Ingelfingen — — 30 

5th Army Corps : 

General v. Steinmetz. 
9th Infantry Division : 

Major-General v. Lowenfeldt . . 10 5 24 

10th Infantry Division : 

Lieut. -General v. Kirchbach ... 13 4 24 

Reserve Artillery — 7 batteries 

Lieut. -Colonel v. Kameke ... — — 42 

Qth Army Corps : 

General v. Mutius. 
11th Infantry Division : 

Lieut.-General v. Zastrow ... 13 1 18 

12th Infantry Division : 

Lieut-General v. Prondzynski . . 7 4 12 

Reserve Artillery — 5 batteries 

Colonel v. Scherbening .... — — 30 

Cavalry Division of the 2nd Army : 

Major-General v. Hartmann ... — 24 12 

Total : 87 battalions infantry. 
5 battalions jagers. 
76 squadrons. 
342 guns. 
4 battalions of engineers. 

Abmy of thb Elbe 

General in Command : General Herwarth v. Bittenfeld. 

Chief of the Staff : Colonel v. Schlotheim. 

Battalions. Squadrons. Guns 
14th Infantry Division : 

Lieut -General Count Minister 

Meinhovel 13} 4 24 



Battalions. Squadrons. Gone. 


13 — 








15th Infantry Division : 

Lieut-General v. Caustein 
16th Infantry Division : 

Lieut.-General v. Etzel . 
Reserve Cavalry Brigade : 

Major-General v. Kotze .... — 
14th Cavalry Brigade : 

Major-General Count v. d. Goltz . — 
Reserve Artillery, 7th Army Corps : 

Colonel v. Biilow — 

Reserve Artillery, 8th Army Corps : 

Colonel Hausmann — 

Total : 36 battalions of infantry. 
2 battalions of jagers. 
26 squadrons. 
144 guns. 
1} battalions engineers. 

1st Reserve Army Corps 

Lieut.-General v. d. Miilbe. 

Battalions. Squadrons. Guns 
Combined Landwehr Infantry Division : 

Major-General v. Bentheim . 
Guard Landwehr Infantry Division : 

Major-General v. Rosenberg-Grusze 


Combined Landwehr Cavalry Division : 

Major-General Count Dohna ... — 

Total : 24 battalions of infantry. 
24 squadrons. 
54 guns. 


12 — 





Chief of the General Staff : Field Marshal- Lieutenant v. Henik- 

Chief of Operations : Major-General v. Krismanic. 
Director of Artillery : Field- Marshal- Lieutenant Archduke 

William I.R.H. 
Director of Engineers : Colonel v. Pidoll. 

Battalions. Squadrons. Rocket 

Infantry. Jager. Cavalry. Guns. Battery . 

I Army Corps : 

General Count Clam-Gallas. 30 5 5 88 1 

II Army Corps : 

Field-Marshal-Lieut. Count 

Thun 24 4 5 72 1 

III Army Corps : 
Field-Marshal- Lieut. Arch- 
duke Ernst I.R.H. . . 23 5 5 80 1 

IV Army Corps : 

Field-Marshal-Lieut. Count 

Festeticz 24 4 5 72 1 

VI Army Corps : 

Field-Marshal-Lieut, v. 

Ramming 24 4 5 72 1 

VHI Army Corps : 

Field-Marshal Archduke 
Leopold I.R.H. ... 24 3 5 72 1 

X Army Corps : 

Field-Marshal v. Gablenz .25 3 — 72 — 

I Light Cavalry Division : 

Major-General v. Edelsheim — — 30 24 — 

II Light Cavalry Division : 

Major-General Prince Thurn 

and Taxis — — 20 16 — 

I Reserve Cavalry Division : 
Field-Marshal-Lieut. Prince 

Schleswig-Holstein . . — — 26 16 — 


II Reserve Cavalry Division : 

Major-Gerieral v. Zaiteek . — — 26 16 — 

III Cavalry Division : 

Major-General Count Cou- 

denhove — — 26 16 — 

Army Artillery Reserve : 

Colonel v. Tiller ... — — — 128 — 
Total strength of the North Army : — 

174 battalions of infantry. 
28 battalions of jager. 
158 squadrons of cavalry. 
744 guns. 
6 rocket batteries. 

The Royal Saxon Abmy Corps 

General commanding : H.R.H. the Crown Prince of Saxony. 

Inf. Jiger 
Batt. Ball. Bqaadroni. Guns. 

1st Division : 

Lieut-General v. Schimpff. .8 2 2 12 

2nd Division : 

Lieut-General v. Stieglitz . . 8 2 2 12 

Cavalry Division : 

Major-General v. Fritsch • . — — 12 6 

Reserve Artillery : 

Colonel Kohler — — — 28 

Total strength of the Saxon Army Corps : — 

16 battalions of infantry. 
4 battalions of jager. 
16 squadrons of cavalry. 
68 guns. 


GRATZ, JULY 3. 1866. 

In the Pmjssian Abmibs 


cere. " en - 










A. Losses of the 1st Army 
H. LomoBof Uio Kiln- Army 
C. Louses of Uio 2nd Army 

52 1.013 

22 328 
26 489 











09 .1,830 [280 






i Austrian Akmy 









In the IV Army Corps . 
Id the Saxon Army Corps 





In the I Army Corps 


In the III Army Corps . 

In the TI Army Corps . 





In the Cavalry Divusiona 


Id the Engineers, Medical Service.eto. 






Some Stray Reflections 

1. The campaign of the Italians had mainly miscarried, 
because General Lamarmora misjudged (lie political military 
situation. He thought that Austria would oppose her whole 
Held army to the Prussians, and that. Italy would thus have time 
lo take one of the fortresses of the quadrilateral after the other, 
and in this way gain possession of the province of Venetia ; he 
forgot, that if Austria should be victorious in the north, all hopes 
of Italy would 1" ilunlir-d l< the ground. His aim should have 
been to aid the Prussian invasion u.s unn:h us ] iossi hie, therefore 
to carry out the Italian attack in such a way that at least the 
Austrian army stationed in Italy — only three army corps — 
would be cut off from Austria or l« pursued vigorously. The 
Italian army ought to have reached the Seramering Pass by the 
time the Prussians arrived at the Danube. 

2. In Prussia an imposing army was put into the field and the 
offensive was adopted, but the fact was left out of consideration 
that the ultimate object could only be attained by crossing the 
Danube, and that 80,000 men or more would be required to 
secure the communications, to invest five fortresses and to gar- 
rison Prague, Briinn and other large towns. For these objects 
newly formed units were sufficient, but they should have followed 
so closely behind the field army that its strength was never 
seriously impaired. It is a rule that an invasion of the enemy's 
country must he supported so as to prevent the field army 
from being gradually consumed. Bui. tlic King had little con- 
fidence in extemporised units formed of but partly trained men, 
and would not listen to their employment; but in war iron MM* 



mpremo, and the peoplc'swar in France after Sudan 
and the disappearance of the entire imperial arniy, has shown 
that such extemporised troops can do good service, even on the 
field of battle. Those who object to such a course being taken 
in case of necessity, may argue that (ho strength of the army in 
pramo should be increased ; but national BOonomn imitmll against, 
this expedient, because work only — industry and commerce — 
produces wealth and no war can be carried on without ample 

3. Where should the executive functionaries of the Govern- 
ment be during a war 7 This seems lo be a momentous question. 
What was the proper place for Bismarck and Roon, the Foreign 
Secretary and the War Minister * The Royal Headquarters or 
Berlin, the seat of government and centre of administration ? 
The conduct of the business of state during a war demands the 
greatest energy, and does not allow of any waste of time. But 
all the executive authorities are in the capital, where alone the 
organisation of conquered provinces and the utilisation of their 
resources can be initiated, especially if this eventuality has not 
been taken into consideration before the outbreak of war. The 
same is the ease with diplomatic incidents of nil kinds : in the 
capital only are the permanent diplomatic officials with the 
information they possess, and it is just the •■nfurccd separation 
of the Foreign Minister from his monarch in the field which 
affords the sometimes desirable expedient and excuse of inoffen- 
sivB delay and procrastination. And the case of the War Miniate' 
seems to be on the same footing : the formation and equipment 
of new units, the arming of fortresses, the constant steady 
refilling of magazines arc so important for the efficient progress 
and conduct of the war that the War Minister should not leave 
the capital for a moment. Did Frederick or Napoleon ever 
take their ministers into the field 1 

The following statement has been made by a famous historian : 
" A king at the bead of an army who is a thoroughly good general 
is almost irresistible; in the opposite case he is a UMOBOdoiM 
incumbrance on the chief command, which is then beset by all 
the evils of court life." The beet combination obtains, when 
they are as great diplomat in U as gciii-rals, as Gustavua Adolphus, 



Frederick and Napoleon. If thoy arc only generals, as Chs 
their enterprises may easily become fruitlossor even pernicious ; 
but the greatest dilemma is produced, when Ihey are neither 
the one nor the other and yet want to conduct everything : 
then a crowd of advisers must be carried a!ong with the head- 
quarters, and court life with its intrigues supervenes. 

How the presence erf powerful personages at headquarters can 
influence the military events, is shown by the action of the 
Crown Prince at the moment, when the 2nd Prussian Army 
arrived before Olmiitz on its march southward to intercept the 
retreat of the Austrians to the Danube. The officer who at 
ti.30 '.in. on July 14 brought to him the orders from Head' 
quarters, also handed to him letters from the King and from 
Bismarck. The latter informed him that Benedetti, the French 
Ambassador, had arrived, and that he himself was determined 
to conclude peace with Austria in order to anticipate and pre- 
vent the interference of France. This information evidently 
determined the Crown Prince to proceed personally to Briinn 
in order to put forward his own opinions. 1 Therefore, under 
the pretext that the junction of the Austrian North and South 
Armies could now no longer be prevented, bo set two army corps 
marching towards Briiau, although under the actual circum- 
stances forced marches in tho direction of Prosaburg were 
required in order to push the into the Little Carpathians 
and to reach the passage of the Danube before them. Thus 
military necessities and the action demanded by them were 
entirely neglected on account of a matter of political concern, 
the efficacy of the chief command and with it the possibility 
of military success was placed in jeopardy : in order not to 
offend the Crown Prince, his Chief of thecitafl pronounced the 
clear and distinct orders received to be unintelligible and 
regarded them, and thus court intrigues frustrated thuauprei 
conduct of operations. 

' I wish my readers to believe me. when I state that, Although 
I have been letl to proffer these criticising remarks, my belief 
trust in the Crown Prince us a leader of men was unbounded 
that such was also the general feeling in his artiiy iu 1870 
all officers aud the rank and file. 

ief and 

eil and 


The situation as just described is clearly shown by a report 
from General Steinmetz to the Crown Prince on the same day : 
" In the moral condition in which the Austrians are performing 
their inarch from Olmiitz to Vienna, I consider it absolutely 
necessary to pursue them rapidly and to attack them wherever 
they are met with, and I foresee good results. I have authorised 
Hartmann to push forward to Prerau." 

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